Voters find room in the rain for hope

Bradley Debruin from Brooklyn .

After a slow, wet start to election day, voting picked up later in Brooklyn, Ysterplaat and Milnerton, with voters voicing hope for cleaner, safer neighbourhoods

Among those in the queues, holding their IDs, were the elderly, and some on crutches and in wheelchairs.

Jaffron Bailey, the presiding officer at the Ysterplaat Primary School voting station, said the rain had kept people away in the morning, but the station had been busier later in the day when the weather had cleared.

Things had gone smoothly apart from some voters who had been turned away because they had had the wrong voting station, she said.

Kayleigh Nefdt from Albow Gardens.

Kayleigh Nefdt, from Albow Gardens, said she hoped the elections would bring positive changes to her community.

She said she had voted for the same party from 2016, hoping it would do better this time to deliver, as there had been few worthwhile changes in the community.

Brooklyn needed safer, enclosed parks for children to play, and the facilities should be monitored during the day and locked at night, she said.

“We used to have parks in our area, but the equipment was stolen and vandalised because the parks attracted the wrong people, and it was not upgraded or looked after,” she said.

Adelaide van Heerden from Albow Gardens

Adelaide van Heerden, of Albow Gardens, said she hoped problems with unemployment, crime and service delivery in her community would be solved.

The mother of three said she feared for the safety of her children because of rising crime in the area.

High unemployment pushed many to steal or sell drugs to make a living, she said.

A youth-development centre could give young people skills and uplift the community, she said.

“For those who have not finished school, there should be a night-school programme where we could finish school and put an end to the unemployment rate in Brooklyn.”

At Milnerton Baptism Church, queues were moving much faster as there were two entrances and one main exit for voters.

Adriaan Diedericks said he “came out to do his bit” for change in his community.

Voting ran smoothly at most stations, but at Buren High School, voters waited in line for 30 to 40 minutes because of problems with the machines used to read the ID barcodes.

Pensioners and people with disabilities were led to a seating area on the school grounds.

A Brooklyn resident, Bradley Debruin, said he wanted to vote because he was seeing Brooklyn deteriorate, especially Koeberg Road, where children were exposed to drug pushers and prostitutes.

“We need our next leader to work closely with police and law enforcement to get rid of the criminals and people making this area the bad place it is labelled today,” he said.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said on Tuesday morning that voters across the country had lined up at some stations before the 7am starting times and more than 12.1 million people had voted by the time voting stations had closed.

Buren High School had voters waiting in line for 30 to 40 minutes because of problems with the machines used to read the ID barcodes.