As the country prepares to hold local government elections on 1 November some communities in the North West province have mixed feelings about participating in the polls.
Aggrieved residents of Dithakong West, Lotlhakane and Ditshiro near Mahikeng say voting has brought no developments to their villages.
The villages are situated just over 30 minutes' drive from the capital city, Mahikeng, but residents are struggling with basic services.
Ditshiro resident, Johannes Motsamai, said voting makes no difference for him.
“There are no developments in our village in Ditshiro. All we ever do is vote but see no changes. For me voting really makes no difference,” Motsamai said.
Osenotse Matebesi only voted once in her life.
“There really are no developments in Lotlhakane village. I only voted once in my life, I don’t see the need to vote because it doesn’t make any difference in our lives,” said Matebesi.
Jane Motseko said she won’t be voting on 1 November.
“In Dithakong West village we don’t have roads. It is just this gravel road that turns into mud when it rains. Our children are not working, we just live in poverty. We don’t even have basic things like water, we are really struggling this side. As much as I would love to vote in the coming elections, as things stand I will not be voting because we don’t have services,” Motseko said.
But Mmapula Kgaje said she will exercise her democratic right to vote despite not benefiting from it.
“We don’t have a tarred road, we don’t have RDP houses and apollo lights. We just live like people in the apartheid era. We only hear about democracy from other villages. But I will cast my vote on election days because I have no choice as it is our way of life,” said Kgaje.
Residents of Dithakong West boycotted the 2019 general elections as a way of expressing their service delivery frustrations.