President Jacob Zuma casts his vote in the Local Government Elections. (Amanda Khoza, News24)
Nkandla – Sitting at home and not voting would not help move the country forward, President Jacob Zuma said after casting his vote at the Ntolwane Primary School in Nkandla on Wednesday.
Zuma urged all South Africans, including those who had not made up their minds on who to vote for, to go out and vote.
“Sitting at home does not help. If you are citizen of this country and you want this country to develop, you have got to exercise your vote as an instrument to help move forward quicker.
“Of course you have made your choice and it does not matter what choice you make, but your vote is important.
“To be a citizen and sit and be neutral is not a good impression. Are you thinking about the country, moving the country forward, do you want to see development? And if the answer is yes, then you must vote so that you can participate in moving the country forward,” he said.
Zuma said even if citizens did not favour a particular party, they should still vote. “Maybe you think ‘this one or that one,’. Decide, don’t just stay at home, your vote is important and is your right.
“Why do you stay out when all citizens are exercising this important right? Come in and participate.”
Zuma said when choosing a councillor, he looked for someone who would be able to develop his community.
“This is one of the most poverty stricken places in the country and we need the council here to sit, plan and look at what are the shortcomings and priorities in an area like this and what was it that would help change the quality of life for the people living here.
“That is why I come here in an area where I was born and where I will be buried, so that my vote must make a difference here.”
Zuma said leaders should understand their community's living conditions. “They need to focus on issues because the budget they have must be used wisely to take the village or the area forward."
Zuma said he was impressed to see in the news on Wednesday morning that citizens had gone out in their numbers to vote.
South Africans, Zuma said, were beginning to understand what voting meant, and that campaigning for the elections showed political parties and citizens were mature.
Zuma said South Africa and the continent of Africa had mature democracies.
“Our people understand the voting process and it is not a simple one. In other places there are two ballots and in others there are three, but people are able to do this. Even those that are not literate, they know how to vote.”
He said the IEC officials were also very helpful in showing people what to do inside the voting stations.
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