United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has warned South Africans that continued electoral support for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) will further entrench corruption, economic struggles, loadshedding, rising unemployment, inflation and poverty.
He wrote an open letter to the nation ahead of the November 8 and 9 voter registration weekend, announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), to encourage eligible voters to register as the 2024 provincial and national elections near.
Despite rejecting the Multi-Party Charter Pact, Holomisa believes that the upcoming elections “present an opportunity for us to pave a new path, to demand change, and to reclaim the integrity, dignity and prosperity that we deserve” by unseating the ANC.
He is also appealing to the youth to recognise the strength of group efforts and to engage in the political process as he believes they hold the key to South Africa’s successful future.
“To those who have continuously voted for the status quo, which is the very obvious ANC Comrades in Corruption, I urge you to reflect on the state of our nation. It is clear that the current trajectory is not leading us towards the South Africa we aspire to live in. The perpetuation of the status quo will only further entrench the challenges we face, from corruption to economic struggles, loadshedding, rising unemployment, inflation, and poverty. Your vote holds immense power, and it is imperative that you use it to usher in the change this country so desperately needs,” he stressed.
To the South Africans who don’t see the need to vote and who currently make up 15% of eligible voters, according to a recent Ipsos survey, the UDM leader said while he acknowledged their frustrations and anger, he appealed with them to think about the long-term effects of disengaging.
He said by choosing to abstain they unintentionally contribute to the continuation of the very problems that have stoked their rage by failing to use their right to vote.
“Your voice matters, and you can influence our country's destiny by taking part in the electoral process,” he said.
Holomisa warned that “if we do not come together in a united cry for change, corruption's rot will only deepen”.
South Africans can register to vote, check their registration status, and change their address by SMSing their ID number (costs R1 per SMS) to 32810. Register online if you’re 18 or older: https://registertovote.elections.org.za/Welcome