By Wandisa Ntengeto
Elections have passed and now the concern has turned to the future of South Africa. Uncertainty is among the many words used to describe South Africa’s future.
This year, the African National Congress won the votes of 11.4 million voters nationally and secured a total of 249 seats in parliament. Even though this may be a victory for the party and its supporters, this year’s votes have declined by nearly 3% compared to those of the 2009 election.
Out of the 18.4 million votes cast, the Democratic Alliance got a 4 million cut out of the election pie. They secured a total of 89 seats in parliament.
The new kid on the block, The Economic Freedom Fighters climbed their way to the top three with a 1.1 million victory nationally; leaving well established parties behind in the race. The EFF managed to secure 25 seats in parliament.
Siphesihle Matyila, 21, a Mdantsane resident says change is needed in South Africa because the government that has been in power for 20 years has failed the people.
“ I have no faith in our government because their main priority is themselves. Now that elections have gone we will be forgotten.” said Matyila.
In 2009,among the many issues that government promised to deal with were the following :
-improvement in health department
-eradication of poverty
So what we have to ask now is - where are we today with these issues?
Nothembeka Makana,65, a Duncan Village resident explains that the last time she saw change was during Mandela’s era. She expressed disappointment in the Mbeki and Zuma administrations.
“ Prior to the 2009 elections we were promised houses, my grandchildren were told they would get free education but nothing has changed. Party officials come to us before elections and tell us all these good things that will happen when we vote them in power but after we cast our vote they keep quiet and play dead.” Said Makana
According to President Jacob Zuma’s State of the nation address delivered early this year:
”Jobs are now being created again. There are now 15 million people with jobs in the country, the highest ever in our history, and over 650 thousand jobs were created last year, according to Stats SA. This is still not good enough. The unemployment rate still remains high. Youth unemployment in South Africa continues to be of concern, as it is throughout the world,” said President Zuma
Aneziwe Sogoni, 35,Mount Frere resident said that she has been unemployed for the past 8 years. She explains that jobs have been promised but nothing is happening.
“ I am not a lazy person. I have been searching all over for jobs even those that seem small. During electioneering, parties came to us and gave us the same promises. What are we to do now? Our votes have come to waste.” said Sogoni.
President Zuma said they had created 3,7 million work opportunities over the past five years and they have created a public works programme, which they use to seek formal employment.
The issue at hand is how the government will help improve the current state of the country. Elections have passed and people have voted for the party that will strive towards a better South Africa. Where to from here?