The African National Congress (ANC) spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says refraining from voting is not the best way to get your problems addressed.
“A vote is important. It’s the only way they can participate and improve whatever difficulties they face. Not voting is not going solve their problems. Come the next round of registration, we will focus on those communities where there were protests to make sure people come out because its only in the interests of those communities that people register to vote,” Kodwa said.
The ruling party’s rhetorician maintained it is not out-of-place for unsatisfied citizens to show their grievances and vexation against any leader or government. But, their resentments must not deprive them the opportunity of choosing of their preferred candidate.
“They [eligible voters] must register and vote for a person of their choice, a party of their choice. Someone who will then address the issues they have now. It’s only through a vote that they can have a voice,” he added.
Kodwa also said that ANC will visit areas that were rocked by protests during the voter registration weekend in order to address their problems.
“We must go back to those communities and address the issues that the people were raising but at the same time, we will call on communities that whatever difficulties they face, they must allow people to register.”
He added that it is evident that people have been reaping the benefits from local government administrations. This he said, is the reason for the strong and active political participation among the people.
We think the work that has been done for the past 15 years of local government; people are now appreciating the importance of local government. That is why there was a high level of participation. Including in areas where there were protests. That is a form of participation. People were expressing their unhappiness.
There were tensions in two voter registration stations in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, on Saturday morning after a group of protesters apparently tried blocking the entrances.
According to Provincial electoral officer, Courtney Sampson, the police said, around 20 people tried to block the station.
Sampson however revealed that residents were making use of the registration station to vocalize their discontent and that the protest was not aimed at the IEC.
This impediment made the IEC to withdraw its staff in order to forestall attacks from angry protesters.
Also, in Gauteng, people were seen demonstrating in George Goch, Denver and Ennerdale. Reports also revealed that IEC tent was set alight in Ennerdale during the protest.
From Mpumalanga, Buzzsouthafrica learnt that protests relating to different matters prevented the opening of two IEC stations on Saturday.
Speaking to African Eye News Service, the Provincial IEC chairperson, Steven Ngwenya, said the affected registration stations are located in Marite between Bushbuckridge and Hazyview.