LAST year I registered to vote for the first time seeing as my 18th birthday was in January. I felt obligated to do so and was excited at the prospect of my having a say in my country’s future.
Before this time I had never really taken note of the elections or followed what was going on between the different parties, but seeing as this will be my first time voting, I started taking notice and I was very disappointed. It opened my eyes to how divided people are in South Africa and to how racism is still a huge problem!
For a country that has gone through so much before I was even born, I still feel the remnants of apartheid and I would have thought by now there would be some kind of reconciliation and a sense of ubuntu. But instead it has become a race war.
As a white individual I am automatically labelled racist for events that happened before I was even born! I am also automatically grouped as a DA supporter, while black individuals are grouped as supporters of ANC, EFF, etc.
While the DA and ANC are clearly the front runners, I cannot say with a 100% promise that I will be voting for either of them. All the parties seem to be more focused on “one-upping” and “beating” each other rather than focusing on ways to better this country.
I was raised in a home where we accept people of colour (my brother-in-law, niece and nephew all being coloured), and I was taught not to judge people based on their race, religion, sexual preference, etc, and yet watching coverage of the upcoming elections, that’s all that South Africans seem to be judging people on! Each party has valid points and each has views I disagree on, but who is to say which party I am likely to vote for based on the colour of my skin?
Take that all away and we are all human beings! A heart! A brain! A skeleton!
In a time where most people my age aren’t voting because they don’t like what is happening in our country between our leaders, I am determined to vote to make my country, my South Africa, better, but I am still very, very undecided.
Nicholas Patrick Holmes, Port Elizabeth