Party leaders reiterate the importance of registering to vote

In the final day of the voter registration weekend, political leaders have continued to reiterate the importance of registering to vote.

Disgruntlement with government cannot be an excuse not to register to vote. This is according to according to African National Congress (ANC) Chairperson, Baleka Mbete.

Mbete visited the Thabong and Evaton malls in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, on Sunday, spreading the message that it is
important to participate in the country’s democracy.

She also visited the Mokoena family who are mourning the killing of four family members and injury of three after their home was burnt down by the jealous boyfriend of one of the victims.

Mbete says registering to vote has nothing to do with a particular political party.

“If you don’t register, you can’t even vote for whoever else you want to vote for, because what we are fighting for is that people must exercise their right to vote for whoever they want to vote for. We fought that South Africans can vote – so if you don’t register, you lose the right to vote for the people of your choice.”

Congress of the People (COPE) Acting National Treasurer, Teboho Loate, says young people need to register for the local elections to become active citizens in the country.

He says the majority of South Africans are young people and they should be encouraged to become involved in processes of governance.

Loate says the future of South Africa is in the hands of the youth, and by not registering, they disadvantage themselves.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader, Mmusi Maimane, took his party’s registration drive to Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality at Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

He was accompanied by the party’s Metro mayoral candidate, Athol Trollip, urging people to register and take part in the elections to effect change.

Maimane says jobs for young people are important for curbing crime.

“When a young person finishes school, they must be able to get an opportunity, they must be able to have a municipality that will be able to give them internships… so they can work and be able to develop their skills – because not all education takes place in classrooms. Some of it takes place as they go to work, and we are going to make sure that even in universities, they bring opportunities. The young South Africans who did not succeed in last year’s matric are the young people who we must be able to look out in Northern areas who face the prospect of using drugs, who face the prospect of being involved with crime.”

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