A Call To Register
By Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP
President Of The Inkatha Freedom Party
Voter Registration Weekend
For The 2016 Local Government Elections
This weekend the Electoral Commission of South Africa has set up stations across South Africa to enable you to register to vote. I want to invite you to use this opportunity to check whether you are on the Voters’ Roll, to check where your nearest voting station is, to update your details if you have moved, and to ensure that you are registered to vote.
In a few months’ time, South Africa will hold its fourth Local Government Elections, in which you will be asked to choose your public representative in your own municipality.
This is the person that connects you to government. They are the one to carry your voice into the municipal council. With your mandate, they will stand up for your rights, speak on your behalf, fight your cause, and make sure that your municipality serves you. Who you choose is thus very important, for it will determine the level of service you get for the next five years.
It is equally important that you make a choice. If you don’t exercise your right to vote, you are giving someone else the power to decide who runs your municipality. You might end up with councillors who care more about serving their pockets, than serving your needs.
I want you to elect people of integrity, so that we can tackle the challenges in your community and win a victory for justice, development and social cohesion. I want to see your neighbourhood better run and better serviced, because I believe you deserve more than you are getting.
The IFP is ready to run with your mandate. We are working hard to get your voice heard, particularly in municipal councils where politics, mismanagement and corruption have stalled any progress on bread and butter issues. We know that the IFP’s legacy of integrity is desperately needed in your municipality.
But if we are to turn things around, it needs to start at the polls, with your vote.
Right now, there are 9 million people in South Africa who are eligible to vote in the Local Government Elections, but who have not yet registered. This weekend, the IEC is on a massive drive to get every one of these potential voters onto the Voters’ Roll.
If you are 18 years or older, and a South African citizen, but you’re not sure whether you’re on the Voters’ Roll, I urge you to visit the registration station closest to you. This is the time to do it. If you miss this opportunity, you might just forfeit your chance to vote.
Democracy can only work if we exercise our hard-won rights. There are some in our country who feel that democracy might not be working, because the problems in South Africa just aren’t getting resolved. Indeed, racism, poverty and inequality seem to be deepening, and economic growth is slowing down.
But we cannot allow ourselves to become discouraged, and give up. The existence of these problems should spur us on, urging us to make a difference with our own contribution. Democracy is by far the best option for South Africa. The question is just who should administer this democratic government.
Those at the helm have failed us. It is time for a change. It is time for an IFP government.
This weekend, register to vote, so that when the time comes you can proudly vote IFP. I look forward to changing the future in partnership with you.