Kapok residents still undecided about voting in local elections

Kapok informal settlement residents say they are undecided about voting in Local Government Elections on August 3.

This as informal settlements are easy prey for political parties gunning for votes.

However, where basic services lack, disillusionment and distrust by the residents run deeply.

Kapok in Ennerdale south of Johannesburg is more than 40-years-old.

During registration weekend for the local government elections, it was the scene of violent service delivery demonstrations and will be closely watched in the upcoming poll.

With less than a month to the country’s most anticipated election, the SABC returned to the area to understand what the pressing issues are for the residents, before they make their choice on the ballot box.

Locals living in the Kapok informal settlement say drastic intervention is needed.

They have been complaining about electricity cut-offs and sanitation problems.

Resident, Pogisho Mdangi says he has been living in the area since 1989.

He says promises have been made to relocate him and others to RDP houses but nothing has been done.

He still has hope in politicians.

“My wish is wherever they relocate us to there must be water, flushing toilets and RDP houses, it doesn’t matter how many rooms, its a move from a shack to a house.”

Younger people living in the informal settlement are more impatient.

Twenty three-year-old Mokete Mohapi’s expectations and demands are much higher:

“I did not register because there is no change in Kapok. My mom has been living here for more than 20 years. We’ve also grown up now and there is no change. There are just promises, promises …”

At the height of the pre-election violence, that promise was to rectify the wrongs there.

Plans are said to be in motion.

Johannesburg Mayor, Parks Tau says: “We require investments before relocating people and we’ve started with regards to infrastructure investment to cover those two communities but also other communities in the South because we have established a new township in and around Kanana Park where we want to ensure that we can relocate people.”

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