Today was a very interesting day. For the first time,instead of being a voter at an election, I took on a new role as a party agent for a by-election. My roles were to make sure that no cheating took place and that at all times the election was free and fair. Other Political Party Agents were also there doing the same job I did.
This by-election took place in a township that has seen their fair share of hardships with high crime, rape and murder rates. This is the same township that months ago had marches against bad service and the party not providing the support and also failing on their promises.
With all this in the back of my mind I started seeing an influx of people very eager to cast their votes. Throughout the day the ward came out in numbers and everyone seemed focused and eager to cast their vote.At one point there was even a very long queue and the people that were stuck init started singing songs that sounded like church songs.
There was definitely a sense of purpose in the air. My shift stretched over a 12 hour period that would end with the counting of the votes with the IEC and other political parties. So 9pm comes and we count that 1200 people cast their vote at that specific station. The process starts and after another2 hours we have the final results… The ANC keeps the Ward with more than 90% of the vote.
In that instance I come to the realization that after 18years, 90% of the people in that ward still chose the ANC Even though in that18 years nothing has changed for them and some still don’t have a house with electricity and running water.
All of this after other political parties spent months and tens of thousands of Rands to promote themselves as a good alternative. Surely you don’t have to be THAT educated to understand that a party made you promises18 years ago and 18 years later they still haven’t done what they have promised.
The only thing that made sense at that time was that they vote ANC but really don’t want to. They do it because they:
· *Fear that Apartheid might come back?
· *Fear that your neighbours might come for you if you vote for another party?
· *Cultural Issues such as upsetting the Ancestors.
· *Grants being taken away if another party comes into power.The list goes on and on but you have to eventually ask… Is it because of the points raised above or is it simply just because they love the ANC irrespective of whether the ANC loves them back? It seems that education should be the key to awake the masses as to what they have currently and what they could have if they challenged the ANC,
It seems that the current state of South Africa is still not based on what you do right now or what you can do in the future… but rather…what you have done in the past. This clearly indicates to me that majority ofpeople in South Africa still live in the past simply because they aren’t educated enough to understand they could have a better life… or because they enjoy living a life they grew accustomed to under Apartheid. This in my opinion is the sad state we currently find ourselves in, in the New South Africa.