As nearly 27 million South Africans prepare to vote in the general elections slated for May 8, it is uncertain how the country’s youth who count for the majority of registered voters will sway the polls.
The voice of the youth is divided with a few maintaining confidence in the ruling party while most have expressed their confusion in light of the country’s political climate ahead of May 8.
Tertiary student, Kgatlego More’s choice is informed by the party’s concern in youths.
“The reason why I was behind EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters-far left opposition party in S.Africa) was because they voiced the opinions of the youth. They make us realise that our anger is valid, you know. They tell everyone, they make it vocal which is something that all these other political parties, the DA, the ANC and all the others that come after that, fail to do.
‘‘When I look at the EFF, I sort of question where their intentions lie. Because on one hand they do voice our opinions but at the same time I mean they drive fancy cars, they’re always at these fancy celebrations and whatever so is it kind of, I don’t know where I stand with that,” he said.
Lebone Hiasa, is a high school student and first time voter. according to her, “a lot of people don’t vote nowadays because they say when they vote their issues are not resolved. I think my vote can maybe make a difference in our country. The year 2019, it’s been nice because I’ve been in programs that teach me how to become a leader of tomorrow. So I am starting my political life while I’m still young so that I can understand the consequences it madam.”
South African voters will go to the polls to elect a president but in an indirect process that involves voting for members of the legislature instead. The party with majority in the parliament deploys one of their own to become president.
The elections of May 8 will usher in the fourth president of the country since the end of apartheid in 1994. South Africa’s three elected presidents since 1994 are Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma.