The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for social development Wezile Thusi visited Caluza, Pietermaritzburg, to launch a call centre and hand out food parcels, blankets and walking sticks.

Although it is only three weeks until the election, the event on April 16 was presented as apolitical. The MEC did not wear the colours of her party, the ANC, and stayed away from direct electioneering.

But residents nevertheless expressed disappointment with government delivery, complaining that promises are not kept and saying they see no reason to vote in the May 8 election.

People who attended the event highlighted other problems they face.  One resident, Phumzile Gezo, said she needs a proper house. “I am a tenant because I do not have a proper home, I am expecting to get a proper shelter because I am currently suffering. ”

Gezo added that she is registered to vote but she doesn’t see the reason to vote because the government has been giving her empty promises.

Thusi told the crowd at the Caluza Sports Centre  that the aim of the call center is to allow people from all over KwaZulu-Natal to report social issues such as gender based violence. The  center, at the number 087 158 3000, will also take calls from elsewhere in the country, and is linked to the police as well as the social workers in the province.

“The call centre will operate twenty hour hours, seven days a week,” the MEC said. – Umgungundlovu FM (edited by Siyabonga Motha)

Caluza residents tell Umgungundlovu FM that they need housing and aren’t sure they want to vote.