Vote and have your say

2019-05-09 06:01


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Yesterday (Wednesday 8 May) millions of South Africans again went to polling stations across the country to cast their vote.

Expats already cast their votes two weeks ago, while others who applied for special votes, such as the elderly, infirmed, those with disabilities and so on, went to the polls on Monday and Tuesday this week.

Even before the actual pronunciation of the results, I can predict the sixth national general election of the Republic of South Africa will be free and fair. That is very important for any democracy.

That is where the credibility of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is tested, as millions of South Africans will be watching, motivated by different interests, of course. As a country we should be proud of this feat, as free and fair elections are difficult to achieve in some African states, while others take forever even to release election results. Here on our sunny shores the results start trickling in within the first few hours of the polls opening.

I am sure that when you read this opinion piece, the results may well be trickling in or have already been finalised. Yet I felt the need to highlight this important occasion for our country, as many of our forefathers died so we can have a say in who leads South Africa.

No matter the challenges our democracy has, or will face, I still believe it’s essential that young and old make their mark. You don’t want to wake up tomorrow and wish things were different.

Your one “X” matters! It has the power to bring about change to the entire nation, so never underestimate the power bestowed on you through your expression in the ballot box.

If you are disgruntled, you should’ve gone and shown that at the poll. Those in authority will wake up, fully knowing the mandate given to us, the voters.

For the next five years they may change and not deliver what they promised during their election campaigns, and act as if they are deaf, but another round of voting will come.

Never be discouraged by the fact that as soon as politicians and political parties are voted into power, they will vanish into thin air – the complete opposite of what we have seen over the last few months, when they sought our votes.

We have seen them on our doorsteps: some offering money and groceries, while others sleep in shacks to feel the pain of the downtrodden. That, on its own, shows you the power you have – never forget that.

One day they will come back and beg for your votes, and they must know and feel how they treated you . . .

The eagerness and determinedness shown through protest, when property is callously burnt and important institutions are vandalised, should instead be channelled to the polls. Trust me, you don’t need to sweat – all it required was some ink and that all-important “X”. Very simple, yet profound at the same time.

If you decided not to vote this time around, please ensure you have your voice heard the next time. It really works!


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