Around 18.2 million people in South Africa are living in extreme poverty.
The highest unemployment rate is in South Africa with 32% (17 million people).
Third highest crime rate – South Africa with 45% (every 2 minutes, a person is assaulted; every 12 minutes a woman is raped; every 19 minutes, a person is murdered; and 5 of the top 20 most dangerous cities in the world, are in South Africa).
We can go on and on…
These are the stats we cannot change. But with a population of 61 020 221 and as of 2023, 43,3 million of those people were eligible to vote. However, as of 2 February 2024, 27 007 818 people are actually registered to vote. Now these are the stats we can change.
Political analyst, Tessa Dooms once said, “The easiest way to change the democratic system is to win an election. Everything else means we will have to lose more than we gain in a fight outside of a democratic process.”
And that brings us to the big debate – why should one vote? I mean, it’s just one vote – it doesn’t change anything.
Now, that’s where one is mistaken – one vote HAS the power to change things. One vote means one person stood up for something.
Let’s look at it like this – you have the right to vote. It’s that simple. We exercise all of our rights on a daily basis and this is one right which we can only exercise once in 5 years.
Here are reasons why you should vote:
- You have the right to vote - use it.
- You cannot complain about service delivery or any other issues if you don't vote.
- By registering to vote, you play a key role in actively shaping the nation's path.
- You are empowered to elect officials who share your values, paving the way for positivity and tackling issues that speak to you.
- Voting allows you to hold your elected officials accountable.
- It's the way for you to protect your rights, ensuring the government plays by the rules and upholds the fundamental freedoms of the people.
South Africa was recently in the midst of an international human rights case against Israel. Citizens of Palestine are being denied access to water, food, healthcare and essentially, the right to exist as human beings. They are defenceless, they are voiceless.
Some of us have all these things, and we take them for granted. Imagine if our struggle heroes and the youth of 1976 just kept quiet and took the beating of apartheid? Imagine if they didn’t use their voices? Let us use our voices and exercise the right that they gave us to vote, to actually vote. Register to vote here: https://registertovote.elections.org.za/voter-online-registration/overview
All stats are from Independent Electoral Commission, News24, World Health Organization, Statista, World Population Review, Al Jazeera and BusinessTech