To vote or not to vote?

2009-04-22 00:00

In most elections there’s a degree of voter apathy that leads some to choose the tavern, the TV or the tennis court over the voting queue.

In this election, some commentators also expected what’s been called “the gatvol syndrome” — people too fed up with poor service delivery to bother voting.

The Witness went in search of both. Going from a carwash in Northdale to Midmar Dam via Alexandra Park, Liberty Midlands and Scottsville malls, and from UKZN and Golden Horse casino in Scottsville to Montrose and Howick, we found few people who were not going to vote [see box]; or perhaps we should say few people prepared to admit they weren’t going to.

It seemed that most of the people we spoke to had either voted or would be doing so later on in the day.

Many also used the day off work to eat out, play golf, get in some gambling, spend time together as a family or get chores done, like shopping or getting the car washed.

Several businesses made arrangements to take staff to polling stations to make sure they could vote, including Lakeside Café in the city and the Victoria Country Club in Montrose.

Several hundred people gathered in a field off Main Road, Howick, for a prayer and worship meeting followed by a picnic.

The service was part of an initiative called “Heal our Land” organised by the Oasis church in Howick that called on Christians in the uMngeni municipal area to fast and pray until 1 pm.

Representatives from nine churches addressed the crowd and one of the elders of Oasis, Rob Gibson, urged participants to carry out their duties as citizens and vote if they had not already done so.

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