First time voters excited about registering

Saturday, January 26, 2019

First time voters have heeded the call by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to register to vote for the upcoming national and provincial polls.

On Saturday, residents young and old in Johannesburg shared their enthusiasm with SAnews about casting their votes for the first time and encouraged the undecided and despondent to follow suite.

This comes as the IEC embarks on its final voter registration weekend for the upcoming election.

IEC Chairperson Glen Mashinini led the charge at a voting station in Muzomuhle Primary School in Diepsloot. Here Mashinini expressed delight at how proceedings were unfolding and was particularly impressed by the number of youth flocking in to register to vote for the first time. The IEC said 5111 people were registered to vote at the voting district.

One such voter was 21-year-old Lebohang Thulo who said he was itching to have his say in the ballot later this year.

“I’m voting because I want to have a say in which party is going to rule the country. I feel it is important to participate in the election because the party I will vote for will come up with better solutions and strategies of how to solve unemployment and education in our country and in our community,” he said.

At the same voting station was Diana Mashego, 21. She said she is hopeful her vote will contribute in electing a party that will address issues of high crime rates and unemployment in Diepsloot. 

“A lot of children are not furthering their education because they don’t have money. That needs to be addressed by the government. It’s very important to vote [to see] change,” she said.

Thabiso Maphike, 48, from Orlando West said citizens need to understand that they cannot complain if they did not express their right to vote.

“They shouldn’t complain if they don’t want to be part of the process of change,” he said, adding that his vote was his voice.

“I think our government has a plan to create jobs, promote jobs and even ourselves as communities,” he said.

Musa Duma, 41, from Mzimhlophe reiterated the importance of voting.

“Complaining and not wanting to vote simply means you don’t want to be heard. Your vote will ensure that your voice is heard,” she said.

Without any formal education, Duma said she is hoping her vote would ensure that government would provide an adult based education and training centre close to her.

“I don’t have a matric certificate. I’d like to upskill myself and improve my standard and quality of life but there are no ABET centres in my neighbourhood,” she said.

In Johannesburg South residents slowly trickled into a new voting station in Frances Vorwerg. –