PICS: #VoterRegistrationWeekend - These first-time voters prepare to make their mark

2019-01-26 11:12
UJ voting station

UJ voting station

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A voting station outside of the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Doornfontein, was not exactly a hive of activity on Saturday as an underwhelming number of young people registering to vote in the 2019 elections.

This comes as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) holds its final registration weekend nationwide on January 26 and 27.

News24 caught up with the few of South Africa's first-time voters who chose to register ahead of the highly contested May 2019 elections.

Anonymous, 25

An enthusiastic young male voter, who asked to remain anonymous, and who ignored the 2014 national elections, showed up in the early hours of Saturday morning to secure his right to vote this year.

"I would like to take part in choosing a government that will create legislation to create opportunities or make it possible for entrepreneurs and business to develop the country," he told News 24 outside the voting station in the Johannesburg CBD.

The 25-year-old believes there is currently a political party that can achieve this, although "their methods are not yet clear".

"My vote should definitely bring a change because every vote counts," he concluded.

Thokozani Zulu, 21

The young Zulu came to the City of Gold from Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, with the hopes of making a better life for himself. The first-time voter believes his X on the ballot paper will make this dream a reality.

"I am happy because I want to take my future forward.

"I believe there is a political party that can help me realise my dreams, that is why I am registering to trust them with my vote," he said.

Thokozani Zulu

Thokozani Zulu (Canny Maphanga, News24)

Pfarelo Tseisi, 21

Tseisi was disappointed by the poor attendance at the UJ voting station, but said this was understandable in South Africa's current political climate

"I want change in South Africa and it is our responsibility to vote; however, I understand why the youth is not showing up.

"Young people are not interested because we are being promised things and then they are never fulfilled, a clear example is free education. Why are they doing the opposite of what they promised?" he asked.

pfarelo tseisi

Pfarelo Tseisi. (Canny Maphanga, News24)

Rotondwa Mudimeli, 24

Mudimeli, who is excited to cast his first vote, hopes that his vote will result in true change.

"I hope my vote will make a difference, but you never know because these political parties make a lot of promises when they want your vote and, once they are elected, nothing seems to change," he said.

rotondwa mudimeli

Rotondwa Mudimeli. (Canny Maphanga, News24)

Bulelani Khumalo, 26

A disgruntled Khumalo decided to register to ensure he is eligible to vote, but this does not guarantee that he will show up to the polls in May.

"I am not sure if I'm going to vote.

"My instincts are actually telling me not to because I see no need to be voting, it just result in no change. Politics is all about their benefit it is not about the people and ensuring they are empowered in the future," he said.

Khumalo adds that he is afraid to give a new political party a chance, as they may fail the people like the current governing party.

bulelani khumalo

Bulelani Khumalo. (Canny Maphanga, News24)

The IEC is expected to brief the media midday at its Tshwane headquarters. News24 will attend the briefing. 

Read more on:    2019 general elections  |  uj
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