Johannesburg – Angry residents from Naledi in Soweto who refused to participate in the by-elections locked the gates of a church that was to serve as a voting station, saying no voting would take place there.
The by-elections took place in different parts of South Africa on Wednesday morning. While things went smoothly in other areas, the situation was different in Naledi.
The residents said they would not participate in the elections due to power outages that have have lasted a few months. They said the area has been without power since a transformer that exploded months ago was never repaired.
They also said the voting station should be moved elsewhere as no one was going to use the one designated by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
Protesting residents barricaded roads with rocks. Others, including children, some in school uniform, chanted.
An angry resident in ANC regalia said no one would use their facility for voting when their pleas for electricity had fallen on deaf ears for long.
“They (IEC) can take the voting station somewhere else but what I can say is that we are not going to allow any voting in Naledi.
“We don’t have electricity, we have death in the family and write online exams as we speak.
“We as the community are angry. They must come and put themselves in our shoes. They must take the voting station to another area that has electricity,“ she said.