Mamelodi votes for jobs

Voters at Shirinda Primary School voting station in Tshwane on Wednesday. Photo by Lilita Gcwabe

Residents of Mamelodi East in Tshwane heeded the call to vote, wanting jobs for the youth.

The streets were busy in Mamelodi East with different political party tents and stations set up along the streets in the area’s demarcated voting stations. 

Street view of Tsamaya Avenue, Mamelodi East, on the day of elections.

Voters at the Stanza Bopape Community Hall slowly moved in and out of the voting station as there was only a few of them, many of whom were elderly and accompanied by family members. 

Salamina with her grandson entering the voting stations at Stanza Bopape Community Hall.

Salamina Lucky Peterson (72) from Extension 5, arrived at the Stanza Bopape Community Hall to vote with her 3-year-old grandson. “I feel good about voting today because I am hoping for a change in the future,” she said.

South Africa marks 30 years of democracy during this voting season. Peterson said that this does not bring her any joy because the past 30 years have been difficult for her and her family: “After so many years, we are not satisfied because our children do not have jobs and as elderly people who stay at home and collect social grants, we do not know how to make ends meet on a daily basis. But still we come to vote because at least we have a house, we have some land. If it wasn’t for the ruling party, then we would not have these things.”

An elderly woman is checked off the voters roll.

Like Peterson, Olga Makhubela (75) from Mamelodi East, came to the community hall to vote for what he hopes will be a difference. “I’m not fighting with anyone and I am not at war, but I want to see real freedom,” he said. Makhubela relies on the social grant that he shares between himself, his children, and his grandchildren. Both his children are unemployed. “They say my children are too old to be employed in positions but what are they supposed to do? What must they eat?” asked Makhubela.

Also read:  Shack dwellers and the politics of floods

On the other side of the cell phone towers in Mamelodi West, voters appeared to be few during the early afternoon with multiple voting stations and temporary voting stations located only meters from one another.

Voters at Shirinda Primary School, waiting to enter the voting station.

At Shirinda Primary School, the sound of music rang loudly from a large speaker at the gate.

Lebo Masemola (29) grew up in Mamelodi and is unemployed. Today, she stood in the queue, pensive and unsure as she was voting for the first time. In 2019, Masemola said she didn’t vote because she did not understand the importance. “This time I am here to vote for employment and for better service delivery. I am not happy with what I have been seeing and experiencing.” Masemola has been unemployed  and looking for a job for over five years. She said she has been struggling. “Even jobs for cleaners are difficult to find. I really hope for a government that will provide jobs to ensure that we can take care of ourselves and our families,” she said.

Copyright policy

Creative Commons LicenceThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Should you wish to republish this Elitsha article, please attribute the author and cite Elitsha as its source.

All of Elitsha's originally produced articles are licensed under a Creative Commons license. For more information about our Copyright Policy, please read this.

For regular and timely updates of new Elitsha articles, you can follow us on Twitter, @elitsha2014, and/or become a Elitsha fan on Facebook.