“BEST BEHAVIOUR KIDS- IT’S ELECTION TIME!!”
By Talent Buthelezi
“When elections are around the corner- every political party is on its best behavior- it’s like leaders enforce a strict law on the government saying: Best behavior kids –its election time!”said Phumla Qumbisa, a student at the Durban University of Technology.
It all began in 1994 when democracy was introduced in South Africa. Democracy meant: out with the old (the abolishment of the apartheid regime) and in with the new: (a free and fair election).
According to the South African constitution- a president can serve a maximum of two 5-year terms as head of state. From 1994 to1999 Nelson Mandela served his term and was later followed by Thabo Mbeki who was in power from 1999-2008. 2009 saw a new leader: Jacob Zuma- whose term is set to conclude on the 7th of May as the country will engage in its fourth general elections.
Political parties have their ‘game face on’ as they have been conducting major campaign promises over the past months. “When elections are close- we get visits from party leaders and other prominent political figures- but when we’ve voted they don’t know who we are and they never deliver what they’ve promised us,” said Pearl Ncishane. According to an article published on the Mail& Guardian (25/02/14) the Democratic Alliance (DA) launched manifestos filled with promises of ‘real jobs’, major campaigns were held in Limpopo and in the Gauteng province. With the DA being the main opposition party to the ANC government- the rivalry between the two parties is much anticipated, leaving citizens at the edge of their seats.
“It’s time for the country to have a new leader. The ruling party and its government have on a number of occasions disappointed the republic. From fraud to corruption scandals- quite frankly I think it’s time a new party manages the country,”
According to an article published by SAnew.gov (10/10/13) statics on the IEC website indicated that people between the ages of 30-39 are the largest registered group of voters totaling a large scale of five-million. People aged between: 20-29are the second largest group of registered voters representing 4, 5 million. Between the ages of 18 and 19 there were 200 000 registered voters, which has been a concern for the IEC.
“I’ve registered to vote and initially I was excited about voting as it will be my first time. I’ve since had a change of heart- suddenly I feel like voting is a waste of time as corruption and other negative issues over-power the countries’ ability to move forward and produce positive change,” said Philile Zuma a first year university student.
The IEC has introduced a new system of voting which is different from previous years for people living abroad. They will be able to register and vote in the up-coming presidential elections by engaging in an online registration process. “This is a good initiative to ensure that all South Africans are registered and are able to vote- before 1994 not everyone had the “privilege” to vote but this system will ensure that everyone has the opportunity regardless of whether they are in the country or not,” said Sphumelele Buthelezi.
It is still an open argument of whether issues such as the Inkandla-gate, Gupta-gate and Marikana will have an impact on the outcome of votes. While political analysts predict that the ANC will remain in power they also feel that the ANC might lose as much as five to ten percent of its grounds.