South Africans Vote and Share Hope for Change on Election Day

Credit: Established Africa
Credit: Established Africa

29 May 2024, South Africa – Today marked a pivotal moment in South Africa’s democratic journey as citizens from all corners of the nation turned out to cast their votes in the national and provincial elections. Amidst the anticipation, two distinct voices emerged, reflecting the sentiments of many who see voting as more than just a duty, but as a means to bring about real change.

Nina Breitenbach, an 18-year-old medical student from Cape Town, joined the ranks of first-time voters, expressing her optimism for the future. “It’s hope for the future. Because I’m young, it’s our responsibility to see that the change we want to see occurs. I also feel that everyone has a responsibility to vote. You can’t complain about anything you see going on if you don’t vote and actually try to make a difference,” she emphasised.

As to the change she would like to see following the election results, Breitenbach shared: “Less corruption in government. I would like to see that the money we pay, I want to see that it actually gets used to do good. Not used for selfish reasons,” she asserted, a sentiment shared by many voters.

Meanwhile, Robin Henney, a 30-year-old from Cape Town, approached the polling station with a sense of duty intertwined with affection for her homeland. “I love South Africa, its people, and its rich culture. When you travel you miss South Africa,” she confessed.

Reflecting on the significance of participating in the electoral process, Henney stressed the importance of informed decision-making, particularly among the youth. “This is my third election. I was excited. I did my research. I watched a lot of videos. There’s a lot of content especially on TikTok – the youth becoming more involved. Less gossip, let’s get educated instead,” she noted.

Henney articulated her hopes for tangible changes, especially in critical areas such as education and combating gender-based violence. “I would like to see the implementation of the Eskom unbundling plan and the private sector coming to the party. On top of my list, the government tackling gender based violence. I want to see harsher penalties. I want to see something concrete. We still see learners going to school with pit toilets – I want to see changes around education. Free education if we can.”

The voices of citizens such as these serve as a reminder of the power of the ballot and the collective desire for a brighter future.