Kennedy Road residents tired of empty promises, want to make their votes count.

Published Apr 4, 2024


As the national and provincial elections on May 29 approaches, political parties are ramping up their campaigns to win the hearts and minds of voters including those who are living in dire conditions in the Kennedy Road informal settlement.

For these residents the quest for a better life free of poverty, unemployment and inequality remain elusive despite previous promises to deliver quality services like housing, sanitation and clean water.

According to these residents the broken promises they had to endure has created a trust deficit between them and political political parties. They are adamant that this time around they will not be lured by false promises.

Nokuphila Mabuza said: ‘’They come here promising us better housing every election, but nothing changes. We are tired of promises that are not kept.’’

‘’Political parties should take a more meaningful interest in public disclosure, despite differences in viewpoints. Many locals feel disregarded and marginalised because people in positions of authority frequently ignore their opinions.’’ said Mabuza.

For Bafana Zondi, voting and holding politicians accountable is critical.

‘’We must vote for parties that prioritise our needs. We’ll be voting them out next time unless they deliver,“ said Zondi.

On which party best serves their interests, opinions vary. Some residents are drawn to smaller movements that promise radical change while others are drawn to established parties with a history of successful governance.

Bonga Zwane makes the case for change saying, ‘’ We must back those who listen to our worries and those who include us in their decision-making processes. The same old parties that have ignored us for years are not people we can trust.’’

For the residents of Kennedy Road informal settlement the mere selling by political parties of their election manifestos are not enough. Based on their previous experiences, tangible plans, workable strategies and accountability will determine their final electoral choices. While re-iterating their commitment to participating in democratic processes like elections, they will not make the same mistakes this time around when choosing their public representatives.

IOL Elections