Voters speak out on poll day

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Soweto - Issues of service delivery topped discussions at voting stations in Soweto on Wednesday.

Voters feel that while much has been done to address service delivery challenges, much needed to be done to attend to issues of health, housing and unemployment.

Noskhisimusi Nhlapho, 80, of Pimville said she cast her vote in order to have a voice on the type of government she wants to see in place.

"I have been voting since 1994 and I'm not happy but I will continue to vote," she said.

Ms Nhlapho said many people were angered by poor service delivery or lack thereof in the areas where they lived. She did not want to vote but was convinced that things may change for the better this time around.

"At my age all I need is help from government," she said.

Richard Msibi, 86, said while there was relatively "good" delivery of services in Soweto, much more needed to be done. "Our government needs to focus more on the poor," Mr Msibi said.

Statistics show, while much progress has been made in Gauteng, unemployment remained at 22 percent in the period 2007/2008.

During that period, about 45 734 employment opportunities were created through the Expanded Public Works Programme.

By the end of 2005/06, Gauteng was one of the leading provinces in terms of housing delivery with nearly 550 houses built.

In April 2008, the Housing Department said 9 235 civil servants in the province were under investigation for housing fraud.

Meanwhile, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said voting was progressing smoothly in most parts of Gauteng. The commission's Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Norman du Plesis said 95 percent of the stations were operating fully by 9am.