The vote that matters

The vote that matters

We are now just a week away from the national and provincial elections; political parties are out for the final push to encourage the electorate to vote for them. Promises have been made, each party positioning themselves as the better candidate to do the job.

One of the hardest things to measure in life is sincerity, genuineness and honesty. Each person may stand and speak eloquently and paint a picture of what and how they are going to improve the quality of life for the natives. Some politicians have the gift of oratory and can have their audience spellbound during their speeches, but still that does not mean that they are genuine.

The population of South Africa has grown since 1994 from 43. 27 million to just above 62 million to date. With the growth of the population come a number of challenges that need diligent and visionary leadership. Over time, you have millions of people ready to enter the labour market; a country needs to be well positioned to absorb the numbers.

This means, as the population grows, so should the economy of the country. The first quarter Labour Force Survey report by Stats SA released in May 2024, shows the contrary, instead, unemployment has grown by 1,4% compared to the previous quarter reaching 32.9% from 32.1%. Meaning, 8.2 million people are unemployed in the country.

The economic growth of South Africa is forecasted at 1% in 2024. The economy and the population of the country are not growing at a harmonious pace resulting in more people living in poverty and depending on grants.

Another challenge that comes with a growing population is infrastructure, the underground sewerage network was originally designed for a small population; now that the population has grown, the aging small infrastructure is stressed and cannot cater for the large population. This is evident in sewer spillages in townships across the country.

Coupled with that, is the housing and land issue. In almost every province there are a number of uncomplete housing projects, while millions are waiting to receive houses from the government as promised, some do not need houses, they just want land and they will build for themselves. The long wait has resulted in a spike of land invasions across the country.

Now that we are heading for elections, and political parties have gone to the people for their manifesto launches; one has to decide which party and its manifesto tickles their fancy. They may speak to your reality on the ground but are they genuine? Politicians may speak of employment and that may hit home because you have been unemployed for years with your degree.

This year’s elections come with so many options to choose from. The ANC has never been challenged like this before. Every party is raising its hand as the best candidate to replace the ANC and do better than the ANC. They point to the flaws of the governing party and position themselves as the solution.

The official opposition party, the DA says rescue South Africa, the third largest party, the EFF says land and jobs now. The new kid on the block Rise Mzansi says we need new leaders. ActionSA says lets’s fix South Africa. Each is appealing to any individual depending on what your major concern is.

While the politicians manage to eloquently point out all the struggles of South Africans; reaching their emotions; the voter’s discretion should never at any point be suspended. A sober mind is needed and the future of the country is at stake.

However, the vote that matters is the vote that will bring about change, a vote that will bring service delivery to communities, revitalise the economy, that will bring equality and reduce poverty if not get rid of it at all. A vote that will usher in a caring government that will create meaningful jobs for many and improve the quality of life in communities and in families; good quality education that is competent with the globe is needed.

The future of the country is more in the hands of the voter, the voter has the power to appoint and to remove, this power needs to be used wisely. Whoever you vote for, you are signing off in approval of whatever the party will do for or against the country. Make your vote count; it matters on how you vote.

My rhetorical question then is, who are you voting for?


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