By Zinhle Geluk
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 3 of VARSITY News.
With the 2019 National Elections just around the corner, South Africans are getting ready to stand in line at their local voting stations to cast their vote. But for some young South Africans, May the 8th will be business as usual. I went around campus to find out why this is the case and why votephobia (the avoidance of voting) runs rampant in the youth of today.
Jerry Alexandar, a first year student in Chemistry believes the reason he is not voting this year is that he has not found a party that relates to him. He further mentioned that he is a believer in Afrocentrism . A recurring statement that I encountered when questioning people.
On the other hand, Mikyla Emergui, a second year in Film and Media, mentioned that she did not register to vote at first purely because of lack of time. However, she was saved by the IEC’s presence on campus for a week in February. She did admit that at the moment, she was not clued up about all the parties in depth regarding their manifestos and policies. She is also unsure of party aligns with her values. An important feat for us millennials. Despite this,she is sure she’ll be ready to vote by the time May 8th swings around. She believes that her vote will make a difference.
She suggested that perhaps her peers opt out of voting due to the amount of the time it takes to research the promises of all 48 political parties. Perhaps the youth finds itself in a state of disillusionment because of the state of corruption in our country and the ways in which our government has continued to disappoint us. We have a 52.4% on unemployment in our country, and this includes graduates as well. Though, Ernesto Williams, a first year Business Science student more or less agrees that the government has messed up but still believes young people owe it to vote for those who fought and died for the right to.
Aron Pieterse, a first year in Chemical Engineering has registered to vote and strongly feels that we as the youth complain a lot about everything. The only way to change that is by voting.