The end of Apartheid brought with it universal suffrage to South Africa, allowing South Africans of all races to take part in the first fully democratic elections in 1994. “Universal adult suffrage, a national common voters roll, regular elections and a multi-party system of democratic government” are founding principles of the 1996 Constitution of South Africa, and the right of all citizens to vote is included in the Bill of Rights. In March 2009 the South African Constitutional Court ruled that South Africans living abroad who are registered to vote can do so provided they notify SA’s chief electoral officer of their intention to vote overseas. You have the right to vote, so please make the most of it. South Africa has a proportional representation system, which means that the more votes a party gets, the more seats they will get in parliament. Every vote counts! Our country has come a long way – the lives that have been lost in the fight for our democracy and the right to vote cannot be ignored, and we owe it to those who struggled for our country’s freedom to cast our vote and ensure that our democracy stays alive and strong.
Top 5 Reasons to Vote
- Casting your vote allows you to express your opinion on who you think should govern
- Voting means that you believe in the democratic process and will participate in it to represent your right to freedom of speech
- Showing that you care with your vote tells candidates that they must be accountable to the public
- Showing up at the poll on voting day sets a good example to others
- Finally, taking time to vote reflects pride in your nation. You can play a part in defining a government that you can be proud of. Let everyone know that you care enough about our country and its leaders to have a say in the election’s outcome.
Never surrender your right to speak your mind through your vote on election day.