Hit where it hurts – at the ballot box

2013-09-08 10:00

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Spoiling your vote is pointless

Mbali Ntuli, via email

Government is the most influential entity in our country. If you want to make change happen, then you must change the way government operates.

Last weekend, T.O. Molefe argued the best form of protest against the status quo is to spoil one’s ballot at next year’s elections.

This is an immature response to a serious problem. I agree with Mr Molefe that the status quo is unacceptable.

In fact, most South Africans have clearly come to the same conclusion. We need some serious changes.

We need to stop corruption. We need to increase the transparency and effectiveness of our government.

We need more jobs.

We need better education.

We need faster action to redress the apartheid economic legacy.

With the right action from government, we can make these changes. Problem is, government isn’t responding to the demands of the people on these issues.

Government only responds when popular opinion starts hitting where it hurts – at the ballot box.

Real change is only possible when the electoral outcome compels government to do things differently – or if a different government, with different policies, is elected.

The very issues deterring Mr Molefe from voting – lack of transparency, shady financial backing for political parties, lack of political accountability, the arms deal, corruption – are all actively being perpetuated by Jacob Zuma and his cronies to suit their own purposes.

We need to use our democratic right to throw them out of office and give another party a chance to show what it can do in government.

We need a party that will ensure everybody disadvantaged by apartheid benefits from black economic empowerment.

Most of all, we need a party that will actually create jobs instead of just talking about creating jobs.

Next year is a watershed election because the DA has a chance of winning the election in Gauteng under the leadership of Mmusi Maimane.

You can spoil your ballot and then brag to your friends about it. But I don’t see the point. It’s a waste of time. And nobody is going to think you are cool for doing it.

» Ntuli is the DA Youth leader

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