The date for the 2019 elections has been announced for the 8th of May. As you drive around, listen to the news and ponder the elections, the question of who to vote for arises.
You see their campaigns, but what values do they actually stand for? You hear them making promises, but what exactly do these promises mean? You’ve seen faces on posters, but who are they really?
Get your Facts Straight
There are various factors that you need to consider when choosing a political party to vote for. Did you know that there are 593 registered political parties in South Africa? Yup. That’s a whole bunch of parties that we know absolutely nothing about. As a responsible citizen, we need to make it our priority to be clued up about the various parties and choose the best party that we can get behind. For now, we’ll discuss and compare the top 4 contenders for the 2019 national elections.
But first, let’s get back to Basics
- National and provincial elections
You need to vote for both your chosen national ruling party and your provincial ruling party. You can vote for the same party or you can choose a different party for each. This can be due to where you think each party would make the most difference and who aligns with your values. Keep both votes in mind while reading through the various political party values and drives.
- How to choose a party
This is a really important consideration. How do you actually choose a party amongst the 593 parties? While wanting to choose a party that can make the biggest difference, you also need to ensure that your values align with theirs. That is one of the most essential factors to consider when choosing. So take note as you research!
- Main topics in the political realm at the moment.
Land reform and land expropriation without compensation is one of the hottest topics right now. The EFF is one of the main driving forces behind this at the moment. Last year, current president Cyril Ramaphosa put together a team to handle all land reform claims and policies. At the State of the Nation Address (SONA) this year, not much was mentioned and it isn’t clear how it will be undertaken in the future. In the ANC’s policies, they state that they wish to accelerate land reform and provide greater support to farmers.
Corruption – Ramaphosa announced the anti-corruption units that he’s set up in the latest SONA speech. So far, he’s proven to be determined at exposing and defeating corruption in government and partners. This is essential to a well-run government and thriving economy and should be on your mind as you research who to vote for. We need a leader who will actively fight for a corrupt-free government. We also need a leader who isn’t caught up in corruption scandals himself.
Eskom. Been studying or working by candlelight lately? Eskom hasn’t been on top form recently and the country is starting to suffer major financial loss as a result. Steps have been taken, as stipulated by President Ramaphosa, to ensure that Eskom starts pulling up their socks.
Meet the top 4 Contenders for 2019
In this section, we’ll compare four policies (education, economy & unemployment, health, crime & corruption, conscience issues) and each party’s stance on them. Each party can and will have more than these five. As a responsible citizen with a particular interest in the various facets within government, you’ll need to research the various policies yourself. Since the below are summaries, you can do in-depth research into each too – the relevant links are provided.
You can view and research the other parties here.
What Happens with your vote?
After the elections, the IEC, an outside organization that handles the elections, will tally up the votes and announce the winners of the national and provincial elections. You can see the 2015 results here for interest. The total amount of votes each party gets will also determine how many seats they get on the National Assembly (they essentially have a say in all new laws being instated, etc), 50 000 votes will result in one seat.
Still Haven’t Registered?
If you missed the registration weekend, you can still register. Find your nearest IEC office, set up an appointment and go register! Every vote counts. You have the responsibility to vote, if you don’t, you have no say about the results.
Remember that doing research is essential to making an educated vote. Be sure that your values line up with the party that you choose. If you’re passionate about a social issue, enquire about any projects or plans they have to improve the social issue. Be an active citizen and reap the benefits of making wise decisions. Encourage those around you to do the same.