As South Africans go to the polls in the local government elections, young people should not think their votes are insignificant, a University of Cape Town student says.
Jodi-Ann Middlekop, 22, on Wednesday spoke to the African News Agency (ANA) outside the voting station at Ellerton Primary School in Green Point, where she was working. She said she would only be voting later in the afternoon in Thornton.
As the lines at the school steadily got longer as residents of the Green Point community and nearby areas arrived to vote, Middlekop said the votes of the country’s youth counted as young people made up a large percentage of the country’s demographics.
“As a young person, I think we shouldn’t think our vote is insignificant as we need to make a difference for the future generation.”
Middlekop remarked that she believed many young people did not vote “because change is so difficult, it makes young people reluctant to vote”.
She said she hoped to see people being elected to bring about change and said she prayed that the right leaders would be able to guide the nation forward.
The stairs at the school posed a challenge to mothers pushing their babies in prams and to the elderly walking with the aid of walking sticks.
The topic of change was a prevalent theme among people standing in the voter’s queue and among those who had just voted.
Ilca Jonker, 23, said she was voting “obviously to make a change and for the community to get along with each other better”.
Jonker said people needed to “realise that the government is corrupt and that it needs to change”.
Jonker, who had relocated from Pretoria to Cape Town three years ago, said she noticed the tangible differences between the two cities, and said in comparison, Cape Town was better run with well-maintained infrastructure.
Green Point resident Steve Armstrong, 56, told ANA that voting was important to ensure that his “voice was heard”. Armstrong added it was important for people to vote to “ensure the right people are appointed” and to exercise their rights.
He added since it was the local government elections, it was important as a resident to ensure that Cape Town continued to be a well-managed city.
Bradley Sabodien, 41, told ANA he hoped his vote would make a difference and improve the state of education, care for the elderly and ensure the country’s youth did not face economic challenges.
Mother of three, Marguerite Heyl, said for her, voting was important to “make sure your voice is heard, and the future of our kids are heard”.
Rebecca Selokela, 65, told ANA as she walked out of the voting station: “I feel very good because I am voting for my municipality who is doing good work for us.”
Selokela said while Cape Town’s municipality was doing good work, she felt the standard of work could be better.
“I hope to see better than this, and black and white people must live together in one place and be one family,” she said.
– African News Agency (ANA)