Kyasands, South Africa-  For the past 20 years, the people living in Kyasands say they feel like they have been neglected by their local government, the Democratic Alliance. Ahead of the municipal elections people are still trying to figure out if their vote will count. Some say it is their duty to head to the polls, while others believe their vote will not make any difference at all. This informal settlement is in the same area as middle income and high income voters who benefit from the policies of the Democratic Alliance, but the people in this settlement say they have been living in unfavorable conditions for years and the D.A. is doing nothing about it.

Oupa Manaba has lived in Kyasands for the past six years. He says he doesn’t like the current councillor, Matome Mafokwane of the Democratic Alliance because he hasn’t done anything in the community. “We want good service, we want electricity, we want jobs, we want houses.”

Life Tree, a non-governmental organization has a school in Kyasands. Karla Kamp, the managing director of the NGO says many of the kids she teaches are not eating nutritious meals before coming to school and it is affecting their progress. She says voting is extremely important. “It’s every person’s responsibility to vote for change. It’s every citizen’s responsibility to arrive at the polling station.” 

ANC Councillor Buhle Dlamini wants to be elected to office. If he is elected, he says he will find a new, comfortable place for the residents of Kyasands to live. “We have already identified a site for them. We are in negotiations with the property owner, so we can build them houses.”

Listen to what the current councillor in Kyasands has to say about the criticism he is facing from his constituents in the video.