The eNCA Election Bus’s last stop was Tshwane on Tuesday and it was rather insightful.
First stop was the informal settlement of Westford outside Danville where we spoke to both black and white residents who’ve lived there for more than 10 years - in what seems like a forgotten area.
They live in shacks and tents. They say they live harmoniously together and look out for one another. All they want is clean, running water, electricity and decent housing.
They want the city to come clean out the rubbish that is strewn everywhere. They say the city has told them it’s too much mess to clean up and they can’t do it.
They don’t want to live elsewhere. There is a common distrust of politicians who they say have barely visited the area. There is common disillusionment with the DA.
The white residents say they won’t vote at all but black residents say they will vote ANC - out of loyalty and to see if anything changes.
We crossed over to the East where the bus headed to Mahube Valley in Mamelodi East. We pulled up outside a row of shacks and the first thing that hit us was the awful stench that came from a rotting pile of dumped garbage- right opposite these homes.
Here we spoke to a young man, a born free who is 25 years old. He’s matriculated and is a whizz at maths and physics but he had to drop out while studying Actuarial Science because of funding. He’s still waiting for NSFAS to help him.
What a waste. He drives a taxi part time to feed himself.
He says he absolutely won’t vote because he doesn’t care for a government that doesn’t care about him. He says he went through a bout of depression because of his circumstances - knowing what his brain is capable of.
He says “if the country burns down right now, I really wouldn’t care.”
Isn’t that the saddest thing you’ve heard? From someone who could go on to be great but instead lives in hopelessness opposite a stinking pile of rubbish.