South Africa: Tshwane Shutdown - I Put a Cross On the Ballot but After I Vote, I'm All Alone - Pensioner

Marchers take their protest to the Union Buildings (file photo).

One of the organisers of the Tshwane shutdown is blaming the media and the government for the low turnout on Monday.

The planned shutdown, coinciding with a march to the Union Buildings, only amassed around 100 people, despite reports that the march would be attended by thousands of disgruntled citizens.

The small group was protesting over several issues, including youth drug use, foreign nationals, the control of local industries and unaffordable RDP house rental.

The elderly voice their concerns

Many of the protesters were elderly but despite their physical challenges, they still made their way to the gates of the Union Buildings.

One such protester was 76-year-old Elizabeth Ndala, who said she was still "fresh" enough to make her way to the Union Buildings to speak to the country's leaders.

She explained that she was a pensioner and had to support her grandchildren financially, so she couldn't afford to pay R2 000 a month for an RDP house in Mamelodi West.

God gave her a bonus - a longer life span - but she should be living with less stress in her old age, she said.

"Now I'm old... Government has forgotten, I vote. I put a cross, but after the vote I'm [left] alone," Ndala said.

"The government doesn't look at me."

Tshwane metro police spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba, told News24 that it was business as usual in Tshwane and that the only disruption was from a small group of protesters who blocked a road in Winterveldt early on Monday.

Makgoka Lekganyane of the Inwoners Baaghi Civic Movement, one of the organisers of the shutdown, told the media that government forces stopped buses full of protesters from making their way to the starting point.

Everyone to blame

Lekganyane also accused the media and the government of creating the impression that poor communities in South Africa are immoral and violent.

Lekganyane collectively blamed the government, political parties, journalists and human rights organisations for the ills that society faced.

"Because they are receiving funding from multi-national companies, like the media here, all of you are receiving funding from multi-national companies that want to do business in African countries," Leganyane said.

He said these companies were paying huge amounts of money to ensure that issues were not addressed and that the truth wasn't reported.

"Here in South Africa, all of you are on one side and poor communities suffer. Why are the issues of poor service delivery not addressed?

"Why are there issues of contaminated water? We have poop coming out of the water. Will it happen in Sandton?"

Source: News24

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