Despite the voting fever, voting stations were surprisingly quiet in Kensington, Troyville and Jeppe.
The 2019 elections were the most anticipated elections. After years of alleged mismanagement by the ANC under the leadership of former president Jacob Zuma, many were ready to make their voices heard and hopefully make a change.
However, years of corruption, unemployment, poverty and an unstable economy led to many losing faith in political parties. As a result, some opted to utilise their right not to vote.
On Wednesday the weather was grey in Johannesburg, as if reflecting the mood of the day. The streets of Troyville were silent as if people were in mourning.
Before I get to the voting station in Jeppe, I bump into my neighbour, Clyde, who just came back from voting. I ask him how it went, and he shakes his head and says, “I don’t know”.
“It was hard to decide who to vote for because I feel like they are all the same”.
Clyde is 24-year-old coloured man, and this was his first-time voting.
After talking to Clyde, I realised that this was a common theme for the day. Many people were either unsure about who to vote for or nervous about voting all together.
Jeppe is a small suburb in Johannesburg central and it was previously known as “small natal”.
Arriving at the Jeppe Community centre, where Troyville, Jeppe and people from surrounding areas are voting, I am stunned by the lack of attendance. The line is short and fast.
However, talking to one of the voting assistances, who worked in the same centre in the previous elections, he says it seems like there are more people voting this year than in the previous elections.
After voting I spoke to a young lady in her thirties by the name of Lungi Mlotshwa.
I spot her kneeling against the wall of the community as if she is saying a little prayer for her vote to bring the change she wants.
I ask her how it was like voting and she says: “I was just nervous”.
“The process was quick and better than it was in the previous years.
“But I was so nervous because I don’t know if things will change. And I hope I voted for the right party and that they will make the changes they promised.”
I then went to Kensington community hall, a small suburb populated by mostly Indians, coloureds and whites.
The attendance was even poorer and some who came to vote went in and out.
I spoke to a man in his 60s by the name of Andrew Lindsey, and he also shared that voting for him this time around was nerve wrecking.
“I just didn’t know who to vote for. There all this new parties that you have never heard of and all these new faces – its confusing.
“I can’t vote for the ANC and DA because there are the same. They promise the world but never deliver. So, I was stuck having to pick from some of the unknown parties,” he said.
But now that the voting has closed, we will have to wait and see if many people opted to sit these elections out or if truly many did show up to make their voices heard. And that those who were nervous about voting are proven wrong by the parties they chose, and they finally bring the change they promised.