Voting is like a one-night stand, says Sisulu

SRC pic

PLEASE VOTE: (L-R): Pitso Moses, IEC member in Gauteng; Carien du Plessis, a journalist and radio personality Shaka Sisulu, were hosted by the Wits SRC at a discussion on voting last night. Photo: Palesa Tshandu.

A small group of Witsies came together last night to discuss the issue of spoiling a vote in next month’s national elections.

The Wits SRC (Students Representatives Council) hosted journalist Carien du Plessis and radio personality Shaka Sisulu in a discussion that appeared to be a reaction to the NoVote! campaign launched earlier in the day.

In contrast to the Sidikiwe Vukani campaign started by ANC (African National Congress) veterans Ronnie Kasrils and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge yesterday, the popular opinion at last night’s gathering was in support of social responsibility through voting.

“Democracy only works when you work on it yourself”, said Wits Dean of students, Dr Pamela Dube. “You should vote because you can … we [as South Africans] have a lot to be proud about and contribute [towards our democracy].”

But not all the audience members shared the sentiment. “I’m from the Eastern Cape,” one student commented during the talk. “Even after 20 years of democracy, there is still no electricity [in my hometown], there are still no jobs … what will my one vote do to [to change anything]?”

Sisulu, in response to the student, said that South Africans need to participate in the affairs of government beyond just casting a vote once every five years: “What makes us think that we can have a relationship with our government like that – that’s not a relationship, that’s a one night stand … We must be in a constant dialogue.”

The discussion included talks by the Wits SRC President Shafee Verachia and Pitso Moses of Gauteng’s Independent Electoral Commission and was attended by about 50 people.