Born free Voters: The First Vote
In the 2014 election in South Africa, which takes place on 7 May, the ‘Born Free Generation’ will have their first opportunity to vote for the party they believe will serve them and their country the best. Their country is a very different place than the one where their parents grew up.
The year 1994 brought the end of the Apartheid system – a set of policies that separated South Africans based on race. Black citizens didn’t have a right to vote.
On April 27,1994, everything changed. For the first time, South Africans of all races voted in democratic elections. In 1996 a new constitution was signed. A child born after the 1994 election is said to have been born free.
Free of what is the question?
‘Born free Voters’ is a myth or is it?
Things have changed, but the opinion is that the footprints and tracks of the past are always present. Even if the Group Areas Act was abolished, the move of a few blacks to white residential areas should not deceive people to think that the structural heritage of apartheid is undone.
Young people of every race must fight for their right to cultural freedom that enables them to define themselves. History weighs heavily on the shoulders of the present generation, even if they had no hand in creating it. The youth should lead in the act of defining freedom. They should work at freeing themselves culturally and materially. Thinking that freedom already exists will only demobilize them.
Voting is a good place to start!
Many Born Free Voters are eager to participate
The following remarks came from some young people due to vote for the first time:
“My vote will make a change because I believe that as young people of South Africa, we are the active generation.”
“I am disappointed with the ruling ANC for the party’s failure to deal with corruption and unemployment.” She plans to vote for the EFF.
“ I am thrilled to be voting for the first time, but new parties like the EFF cannot be trusted.”
“I’m excited because it’s something that I have never done before. I believe in ANC.”
Some say they will vote but they are still undecided.
Twenty years ago, the parents of these voters saw this nation transformed. This year, more than a million first-time South African voters could vote. Only around 30 percent of eligible new voters are registered to vote.