The May 08 elections were presumed to be one of the highly contested General elections since South Africa became a democratic country in 1994.
These elections also presented an opportunity for the millennials to vote for the first time in their lives.
Though from a distance one would notice that some citizens generally couldn’t differentiate if these elections were about putting in power local leaders or electing a provincial leader as well as a president for the country.
On social media platforms like Facebook a portion of youth didn’t mince their words when they said they will not vote because they felt their votes wouldn’t make a difference.
Some cited reasons such as being tired of politicians promising them endless things and delivering none.
On the other hand there was joy among those who were to exercise their democratic right for the first time in their existence and they didn’t shy away from naming the political parties they were to vote for.
Every period before elections new parties emerge, some are break away parties from already known movements with representation in the National Assembly &Good is one example, formed by Patricia De Lille after an unceremonious end at the Democratic Alliance.
There are also those parties formed out of what their respective leaders would say isn’t well represented by already up and running political parties, such as African Content Movement, the Land Party and the African Transformation Movement to name a few.
All the parties hoped to have South Africans vote them into power with the promise that they will change the citizens’ lives for better.
On the day of elections there were various challenges experienced as early as 06h00, scanners not arriving in time or not working were some of the encountered problems.
By Wednesday afternoon some citizens were being made aware of some fraud exercised during elections;
• It would seem some were aware of a loophole within the IEC scanning machine(zip-zip machine), that it wasn’t connected to a live network that would detect if an ID barcode has already been scanned and voted prior.• The marker’s ink was also easy to wipe off.
With these two above mentioned some saw an opportunity to vote more than once and for the first time in South Africa a matter of that nature was brought to the attention of authorities and all.
In Kwazulu Natal 19 people were reportedly arrested and in Mpumalanga a Journalist named Etienne Mare was arrested after claiming to have tested out the system on voting day following voters’ claims that they had voted more than once.
She recorded the action on video to show that the task was possible.
Mare was arrested and appeared in court on charges of contravening Section 88(d), voting more than once; Section 89(i)(a), intentionally making a false statement; and Section 90 (2), infringement of secrecy of the Electoral Commission Act,1996.
Nationally 26 779 025 eligible voters registered and 17 671 616 voted, with 235 472 spoilt votes.
The ANC got 57,50% dropping from 62,15% in 2014 and Limpopo Province gave the ANC the highest score with 77%.
On voting day the Province continued to experience an unrest in Vuwani, as some residents were chasing away IEC officials and ultimately scaring anyone who wanted to exercise their democratic right to vote.
Lephalale contributed 70,93% for the ANC, dropping a little from 73,79% in 2014.The DA would be seen to have dropped tremendously from 11,34% in 2014 to 7,33% in 2019.
It can’t be politically wrong to suggest the DA’s loss gained VF Plus 4,61% from 1,59% in 2014.
Post elections, some parties grouped themselves and challenged the IEC that the elections were not free and fair, nonetheless that challenge didn’t materialise and on Wednesday newly elected members were sworn in, followed by the Inauguration of President Cyril Ramphosa on Saturday.
South Africans now eagerly wait to see how the sixth parliament will run, whether the number of ministers will be trimmed or not and which of the ministers will not retain their executive roles in the departments they led as poticial heads.
Limpopo Government has under the leadership of Stanley Mathabatha made big changes in MECs, with introduction of the new MECs such as the former speaker of Legislature Polly Boshielo taking over Education department, Dr. Onicca Mochadi resuming duties as MEC for Public Works, Thabo Mokone as Economic Development MEC, Nkakareng Rakgoale as Social Development MEC and Baisikopo Makamu as MEC for COGHSTA.
As we look forward to the sixth parliament the question is; ‘since electioneering time has lapsed and voting took place, will South Africans wait for over a year before they see politicians knock on their doors asking for their votes in 2021 Local Government Elections?’