Young people must make vote count – Mazibuko

2013-07-31 17:32

Young people must register for next year’s general elections because they have more to gain than older voters, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko has said.

“Register to vote. It is an important act of civic duty,” she said in a speech planned for delivery at the Vaal University of Technology in Vanderbijlpark today.

“You will have a choice that will shape your life for decades to come. When you cast your vote, I want you to think of your future.”

She said young people made up about a fifth of the electorate and therefore had significant political “clout”.

“As the youth of South Africa, you have more to lose or gain than anybody else in this country. You still have long lives to live.”

Mazibuko was speaking at the launch of a new branch of the DA Student Organisation (Daso) at the university.

She said Daso was the fastest-growing student organisation in the country.

At the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, for example, Daso recently secured three-quarters of the vote within three years of its launch.

At that university, Daso helped students by implementing a shuttle transport service.

Daso also believed it was important to introduce tutorials in students’ mother tongues to help second- and third-language speakers reach their potential in classes and exams conducted in English.

“This has been implemented at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Students who attended those mother tongue tutorials achieved a 100% pass rate in 2011 and 2012,” Mazibuko said.

“We can do the same right here.”

Mazibuko said that the ANC was “worried” that it could lose support in Gauteng.

“The ANC thought the same when they were in government in the Western Cape before the 2009 elections, and the same in the City of Cape Town before the 2006 elections.

“My message to (ANC secretary general Gwede) Mantashe today, as I look around this room, is that you are in for a big surprise again, this time in Gauteng.”

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