MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Humayra Hajat
Comments: 3
Article views: 202
Latest Badges:

View all Humayra Hajat's badges.

Our votes are our voices, but for whom to voice our votes is the issue

27 April 2014, 20:00

While Election Day is but a few days away, many of us are still struggling to make a concrete choice about where to place our ‘X’ on the ballot.  Both older and newer generations, who are registered to vote, are not only taking this election more seriously, but are also trying to compromise on the pros and cons between each respective party.  It is not surprising that citizens are finding it so difficult to vote for a particular party given the current political climate against South Africa’s historical background in the face of what is probably the most significant of elections since 1994 itself.

There is no real need to revisit South Africa’s entire history since we know it all too well by now.  However, it is significant to highlight that the transition from racial segregation to constitutional democracy was indeed a miracle considering the fact that South Africa was on the brink of a civil war during the early 90’s.  That being said, the country is at a new point in history:  the miracle has been achieved; it now boils down to maintenance and preservation of the miracle by the governed and those who govern, i.e. the state.

Thus, for many reasons, the upcoming elections is definitely the most heated and significant one South Africa has yet to see in her still early years of democracy.  Firstly, the born-frees will be voting for the first time in their lives.  Secondly, and possibly on a more negative note, the country (as a whole) has watched the rise of the ruling party and now the fall of the ruling party.  I use the term ‘fall’ not to denote a fall from power, but rather a fall from what was once a highly reputable party in the eyes of many.  Perhaps and surely many still hold the ruling party in high esteem for a number of reasons, but the bottom line is this:  factions within the ruling party, dirty backdoor politics, corruption and poor leadership has caused a shift from faith in the ruling party to doubtfulness about its future endeavours.

The debate about the ruling party is not the “good story” they have to tell, or their ideology and principles and what they have done for South Africa.  Instead, it is about the executive – conduct, recent policies and sheer lack of accountability and unwillingness to change.  Most people then suggest voting for the strongest opposition party, which makes perfect sense.  The only real issue with the strongest opposition party is the fact that much of what they stand for is grounded on slamming the ruling party.  What the electorate needs is not a reminder of everything the ruling party is not doing, but rather fresh perspectives and solutions.

Since the ruling party and strongest opposition do not seem entirely promising, there are of course the new kids on the bloc – Agang SA and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).  There is no doubt as to the respect Dr. Ramphele has earned herself in her many years of fighting for freedom, but the indecisiveness and lack of strong presence by Agang SA has led the new party to cause doubt as to the overall competency thereof.  On the other extreme, the very controversial Julius Malema calls for economic freedom and what some would call economic liberation of the masses.  However, let alone promising the economically impossible at this point, “…this is the young South African who preaches on behalf of the poor and to the poor…” whilst simultaneously being dubbed as ‘The devil [who] wears Breitling’ (Forde, 2011).  Of course, there are a multitude of minority parties to consider and choose, but it is always easier said than done.

There is a major shift in voting with the heart to voting with the head.  It is no longer about ideology, struggle, racial segregation, oppression or many deficiencies of basic human rights and freedoms.  It is now about the nitty-gritty; it is about less talk and more action.  Every citizen, especially the youth, simply has to be critical of each party because the public is restless for all kinds of change – perhaps the changes many expected years ago already.  The restlessness is evident almost anywhere you go – the ongoing protests and even social media.

A solution or solutions to end this confusion and uncertainty before Election Day is all but blurred.  To each their own, but I will end on this note:

“To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.” – Louis L’Amore

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Mosa Moamogoe
Lessons of failure from a young e...

This past month, we here at AfriTravel International experienced our second full-fledged and very public failure as a company. Read more...

0 comments 51 views
Language Barriers, Schools and Co...

I may complain about many a thing about our beloved South Africa, but I am without a doubt appreciative that the current government has afforded us, the people of South Africa, free basic education. Read more...

0 comments 8 views
Submitted by
Dawie Conradie
Music is magic, music is life.

Music speaks when words no longer can. When you’re down music is your gigantic crane that lifts you right back up. Music gives you a feeling that words cannot describe. Music is magic, music is life. Read more...

0 comments 2 views
Submitted by
Peter King
On War

There was a time when those who declared war were actually present on the battlefield.  Read more...

0 comments 379 views
Submitted by
Ohna Bouwer
Ability to fly

I do not only have the ability to fly, but also the qualifications.  Read more...

0 comments 123 views
Submitted by
John Beadon
Residence confusion

I am a seaman, so I spend a lot of time outside SA, often returning by air. I hold a British passport, and have been a Permanent Resident in SA since 1967. Read more...

0 comments 1015 views


E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2015 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.