Change needed now, say voters in KZN


Voters in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal, do not necessarily agree on which party they should vote for, but they do agree on one thing: change is needed.

“Now is the time for us to stand together, no matter what your skin color is. If we can join hands, we can once again have a town that everyone is proud of.”

That’s what Lisa Lemonwarde said to RNews on Wednesday, while she stood with hundreds of others in a long line at one of the 12 ballot boxes in Vryheid. She crossed her “for change” during this year’s general election.

This town in the north of KwaZulu-Natal was once Kwêla’s town of the year, said Lemonwarde, “but now everything is run down”.

“I’ve lived on Vryheid for 21 years and enjoy the small town feeling incredibly, but now it’s time for a change. The political parties with their empty promises no longer mean anything to us, it’s time to add action to words.”

That is precisely why she thinks it is extremely important that each and every one make their mark this year.

She is also not shy about saying who she votes for. She is going to draw her cross behind the DA.

“Look at the Western Cape, things work there! I think under a DA government we can regain the value of our country.”

She is also not at all pleased with the Inkatha Freedom Party, which is currently in control of the local municipality.

According to Mike Bond, DA MP in Vryheid, the DA will gain many more votes this year.

“We are definitely going to grow – not only in Vryheid, but in the whole country. The polls show a big increase in support for the DA.”

A resident of Vryheid, who has lived here since birth, told RNews on condition of anonymity that she will vote for Zuma’s MK party this year.

“We are supposed to celebrate 30 years of democracy this year, but that has actually gotten us nowhere. The voiceless still don’t have voices, the poor are only getting poorer and politicians don’t care about what’s going on in rural areas.”

She hopes a new party can come to power that will be the voice for the community and can bring about positive change, regardless of where a person comes from and who you stand for.

“Everyone in the country deserves a fair chance with a decent education system and adequate water and electricity supply.”

However, according to Magda Viktor, DA council member, the IVP and ANC are still the two biggest parties in this town, although this is slowly changing.

“People will probably vote for the MKP rather than the ANC this year. And they are just as unhappy with the IVP. Corruption continues and the town only becomes more dilapidated every day.”

Bond does not expect conflict in Vryheid at all, but does say that violence between members of the MKP, ANC and IVP could break out in rural areas around the town.