Johannesburg – "I decided I can no longer leave my country in other people's hands. I need to make a change and this is the only way I know how."
At 76-years-old, Tanya Whitfield was overjoyed as she registered on Saturday morning for the first time in Northcliff so she could take part the upcoming local government elections.
Whitfield is a mother of two and has four grandchildren. Dressed in white, she said her dress signified a new chapter in her life. "It's time for me to stand up and make my family proud," she said.
She told News24 she decided to vote to make a difference in her grandchildren’s lives.
Accompanied by her 84-year-old husband, Whitfield said she had always left the voting up to him. “He has always been the one voting. I never really cared much for politics and I never knew how much my vote mattered,” she said.
'Woke up' from ignorance
Whitfied said she "woke-up" from what she referred to as her "ignorance" when her 12-year-old grandchild convinced her of the importance of her vote.
“I was baking with my grandchild when she asked who I was voting for this year. I told her I had never voted and she laughed at me.
"She explained what her teacher told her about voting and how important it was. The current crisis we find ourselves under was an added motivation,” she said.
Whitfield said she would make it her job to learn more about political parties before she decided which she would make her mark beside in the ballot papers come August.
“I want to know about the ANC, DA and that young man from the red party [EFF’s Julius Malema]. They are all important and it's important I learn about them to make my decision.”