Capetonians: We need houses

Sunday was the final day for voter registration. And in Cape Town, much of the day was spent waiting for first-time voters who seldom appeared. From the CBD to Philippi, voters across the city registered to vote in the May 7 general elections. And housing seemed to be a common theme in conversations RA’EESA PATHER had with fellow Capetonians.

FatimaFatima Betser, 20, student, Bo-Kaap

I have never ever registered before and I feel like I need to be a part of the voting to see who our country’s leaders are going to be. I’m so nervous, because I don’t want to find months down the line that it was the wrong decision because they not delivering.

At the campus where I am, not many students are interested in voting. Lots of my friends don’t really believe in it, I just decided that I need to vote. For our community, housing is the main thing that should be addressed. The amount that we are paying and our account problems, because it’s a council house, is too much. So we go up and down to the council and nobody’s helping us there. For many years, up and down, and nobody’s helping us, nobody’s telling us anything.




Nabeel Rylands, 34, Western Cape government worker, Bo-Kaap

I feel that this country needs a bit of change and I think that people need to realise that. I think economically we need to look at our long-term future; at the moment it’s very short-sighted. There’s a lot the government can do here. I think there should be better facilities for the youth, keeping them off the streets. As you can see here there are things but it’s poorly maintained, and I don’t think it’s a case of not having funds, it’s just a case of resources being poorly allocated.




Phalosi Khumalo, 22, cameraman, Cape Town CBD.

This is my first time registering so I want to vote. I want my vote to count, I want to have a say in this political arena. People vote and they vote for their parties and their parties are not doing anything so I decided that maybe if I vote my party will do something. There’s some people out there who are having poor service delivery, so you know, maybe I’ll be a hero! I doubt the youth are interested in voting. They find it useless. They laugh at you when you say you going to vote. They’re like, “Why, what for?” You’re going to vote and then you’re still going to have the same issues as always. That’s what they say. I believe differently because a single vote can change everything.


VuyoVuyo Nqayi, 30, maintenance worker, Langa

I didn’t register to vote because the last time I was working, and then when we come there they were already closed. The same as what is going to happen now, because now we are at work and then we knock off at 3 ‘o clock and then we arrive at home at around about 5pm.

I would vote to make a change in our country so that we can get a better life. You see, if the government can give the people houses and all that kind of stuff then we live a better life. If you can compare maybe to other suburbs, it’s not the same as the townships, so other people are getting more privileges than us. There by us, if the lights are off and all that jazz, they take time to come to us, but if it’s in a white area they come quicker.




Ashleigh Meagan, 23, student, Claremont

Voting is important in this country. Your vote is your voice. You can’t really complain about what’s going on in this country if you’re not going to vote and be part of it. Jeez, I’d complain about a lot. I think I’d probably complain most about the housing situation. Our domestic worker has been with us for years and she’s still waiting for a house. In my community, I’d probably talk about crime, but I mean what can you really… I don’t know how you’d start changing that.



EileenEileen Vlotman, 54, gardener, Philippi

Ek vote vir die toekoms van my kinders. As ek môre dood, dan is die toekoms vir hulle. Net ‘n huis vir my is al wat die regering kan doen om my lewe beter te maak. Ek hetie ‘n huis nie, ek bly in ‘n sinkplaat huisie. Dis eken my man en my drie kinders innie huis en daar’s net twee vertrekke. So ek nodig net ‘n huis.

(Translation: I’m voting for my children’s future. If I’m dead tomorrow, then the future is for them. All the government can do to make my life better, is give me a house. I don’t have a house, I live in a shack. It’s me and my husband and three children in the shack and there’sonly two rooms. So I just need a house.)