Communities across the uMhlabuyalingana municipality, a rural area in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal bordering Mozambique, say that acute shortages of water, jobs and sanitation are their biggest burdens. After years of broken promises, will the next crop of councillors make a difference in their lives?
Voting is not high on the to-do list for the marooned community of Enkovukeni, located between the town of Manguzi and the Mozambican border area called Ponta do Ouro.
Locals who spoke to Daily Maverick during a visit to the area were adamant that they would not be voting in next week's local government elections.
The area is mostly only accessible by boat -- especially during the summer rains -- and hundreds of schoolchildren have to strip off their uniforms when crossing the river to and from school.
As if that's not enough, the community has no running water, electricity or other basic necessities.
"We don't see the point of voting. We have been voting for years and politicians have been promising us bridges, water and other things... but once the elections are over, they disappear and forget about us," said Ray Ngubane (43) who has lived in Enkovukeni all his life.
"Life is tough here. I...