I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to get active in politics to make a difference to the country.
I'm sure we know people that complain about the country yet are the same people that sit at home on election day too lazy or apathetic to vote.
I find that unconscionable. The country needs every eligible voter to register and participate in the democratic process and I will continue repeating this message until it resonates and we see a good turnout on election day.
The 2009 election is probably THE most important election in the country's history.
The country and the ANC is in disarray and we that support the smaller parties have an opportunity to step up and change the course of events. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to reduce the ANC's representation in parliament.
See below for information on how to register, where to register and how to vote. I implore you to register and get your friends and family to do the same. If people do not have transport then arrange to drive them to the polling stations.
I am happy to answer any queries regarding the registration and voting process, on here or anonymously. Also, if anyone has suggestions, please, share it with us.
This is it, this is the big one, this is where things change for the better - or not. It is up to you.
To underline my point about the ANC's problems, take a look at how easy it would have been to keep the ANC's majority below 70% in 2004 (its best election result) had people just taken the trouble to vote on the day.
Back then, the turnout by ANC voters was poor because the voters had become disillusioned (and next year will be even worse) yet they still scored their best results because people who do not support the ANC think "what's the point?" and stay home.
** 11,5 million did not vote? Are you among them? **
An analysis of the 2004 national election results in South Africa offers an elucidating prism through which to view the situation in South Africa today.
From one perspective, the result was a resounding triumph for president Thabo Mbeki but a closer examination offers a different perspective.
The ANC won nearly 70 percent of the votes cast, an improvement on its performance in the 1994 and 1999 national elections. Against that, only 57 percent of the voting-age population turned out to vote, meaning that 43 percent either failed to register to vote or, if they did, were conspicuous by their absence at the polling booths. Calculations by emeritus professors John Daniel and Roger Southall show that the ANC garnered a mere 40 percent of the total number of eligible voters. Put differently, of the roughly 27,5 million eligible voters, less than 16 million voted, which means 11,5 million did not.Source
These figures point to declining participation in elections by eligible voters, which, in turn, points to disillusionment with the ANC as the ruling party.
- Website of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)
- To check if you are registered on the voter's roll, click here or alternatively sms your identity number to 32810.
- To contact the IEC, click here.
- Details on why & how do I register, click here.
- Call Toll-free number 0800 11 8000 to be given the exact voting station to which one can register.
UPDATE: 1 October 2008
Question: Somebody asked if we could vote overseas?
Answer: No. The exact words they use, "You vote at the voting station serving the voting district where you are registered to vote." I know, it's a scam but what can we do? We need a change of government and that's why this election is important.
The only exception is the following: In so far as overseas voting is concerned, section 33 of the Act provides for the two categories, viz. absence from the RSA on government service or membership of the household of a person being so absent. This covers embassy staff and their households.
The second category, which has been included in terms of the Act, is made up of those voters who are temporarily absent from the RSA for purposes of a holiday, a business trip, attendance of a tertiary institution or an educational visit or participation in an international sports event.
Persons in the second category must however inform the Commission within 15 days after the proclamation of the date of the election of their intended absence including their intention to vote as well as the place where they will cast their vote. Persons who wish to vote overseas must be registered in the voting district where they are ordinarily resident in South Africa, and present their green barded ID and their passport. In collaboration with the department of Foreign Affairs, work has already begun to give effect to this provision.
Crucially, even though you may have voted in the last election, you MUST CHECK THAT YOU ARE REGISTERED OR RE-REGISTER (if you have moved) in the district where you currently reside. You may only vote in the place where you were last registered. Again, CHECK that you are registered.
17 Oct 2008 - 'Darlings! You must register,' says Tannie Evita
UPDATE 11/11/2008 - Sign this petition to demand the right to vote!
UPDATE 12/11/2008 - 21,6m South Africans now registered to vote