Wits students hold a range of feelings about the upcoming municipal elections, varying between high optimism, extreme apathy and cynical pessimism.
Flora Shipalana, a 17-year-old LLB student who believes that voting is part of being a good citizen, says she is “excited” and has a “good feeling” about the elections. “We all reap the benefits which the government allocates.
“It’s unfair to receive the benefits while not having voted.”
At the opposite end of the spectrum is Ntsundeni Phaphi, a 20-year-old BSc electrical engineering student from Limpopo, who did not register to vote. His hesitation to register, let alone vote, hinges around the widespread underperformance and alleged corruption in the local government of his home province.
“Once a person has won, it’s like a business. They’ll be making money, and forgetting about the community. I doubt if my vote makes a difference. I don’t get (the point of) voting,” he said.
On the other hand, while sharing Phaphi’s disappointment in the current government, some students are of the view that their votes do indeed count, even if they don’t make a “huge difference”, as BMus and BA students Michelle Wheeler and Nichola Cheshire agreed.
Another such student is Kyle Nel, a second year BMus student, who said that he would be voting in order to see if the country would have a better future with another party’s leadership.
“We all know who’s going to get in again, but it’s worth a try.”
The final voter registration weekend will be held tomorrow and on Sunday (5 & 6 March). Students with queries about their registration status may contact the Independent Electoral Commission via their website, call the following toll-free number: 0800 11 8000, or sms their ID number to 32810.