“Universal adult suffrage, a national common voter roll, regular elections and/or multi-party system of democratic government” are founding principles of the 1996 constitution of South Africa and the right of all citizens to vote is included in the Bill of Rights.
Democracy, government by the people and exercised by their elected representatives under a free electoral system is what we continue to value greatly.
It is thus an important civil duty and responsibility of all eligible voters to exercise their voting power.
In anticipation of this week’s general elections on the 8th May 2019, prospective voters have been canvassed by political party’s commitments and promises which the electorate must keep them to.
The African National Congress (ANC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) held their last rallies ahead of the national election on Sunday the 5th May 2019.
The ANC held its ‘Siyanqoba’ rally at Ellis Park and the adjacent Johannesburg Stadium.
The EFF held its ‘Tshela Thupa’ rally at Orlando Stadium.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) held its final launch on Saturday the 4th May 2019 at Dobsonville Stadium. There are forty-five registered smaller parties that will also contest the elections.
During their respective final rally election speeches, the leaders of the political parties spoke out against and raised concerns over unemployment, the economy and corruption.
Twenty-five years ago, millions of South Africans who had lived for decades under the iron heel of Apartheid cast their first vote under a democratic dispensation.
The forthcoming election has been billed as the most important election since 1994 by many pundits, in terms of the economy, governance, investment, unemployment, job creation and corruption. Voters are thus acutely aware of the challenges facing South Africa and unlike the last five national elections, the result of this week’s poll remains uncertain even as we get closer to election day.
The South African electoral process remains an incredibly important and powerful feature, which enables voters to hold political parties and leaders to account who have not fulfilled their electoral commitments and promises, and to reward those who have.
Undergirding the electoral process is a free news media and judiciary that acts unencumbered by politicians.
It is for liberty that we continue to strive. It is important to vote. Not to vote is a dereliction of a civil responsibility. Vote for the party of your choice.
Political Party politicians’ fortunes on the 8th May will ultimately be determined by the quality of their campaigning and the morale, energy, vim and rigour of the party electoral machinery.