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First-time voter encourages peers to vote

Written by More Matshediso

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Ponalo Notwane says exercising his right to vote during this year’s General Elections will give him a voice as a young South African.

Vuk’uzenzele has been following the 21-year-old Notwane who will be voting for the first time in 2019.

He believes that participating in the voting process is important for him and others who will be voting for the first time.

“I have hope that through my vote, a political party that will lead our country after elections will take a lead in fighting against youth unemployment and also tackle the crime rate in our communities,” said Notwane, who hails from Klerksdorp in the North West province. Ponalo Notwane eager to make his mark during this year's elections.

He said young people should show interest in politics, economics and issues of governance because these affect their daily lives.

“Most young people tend to ignore what is happening in the political and economic space because they still enjoy the comfort of being under parental care, but before they realise it, they will be independent and start to feel the pain of not participating in things like voting,” he said.

During the 2016 local government elections, Notwane was at his hometown and did not see many young people visiting  voting stations to cast their votes. This made him realise that not many of them are interested and he was not impressed.

“I felt that it is wrong to always complain about what government is not doing right, yet young people do not want to vote or have a say about who should be leading the country,” he said.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), there are currently about 26.1 million registered voters on the national common voters’ roll.

It is hoped that at least one million voters will be added to the voters’ roll ahead of the 2019 elections.

The IEC announced that the final registration weekend is set for 26-27 January.

About 22 932 voting stations across the country will open their doors from 8:00 to 17:00 to allow first-time voters to register and others to update and check their registration details.

Notwane thinks that in order for service delivery to improve, people who qualify to vote should play their part in voting leaders of their choice into
power.