Understanding Western Cape election results

Cape Town, May 9, 2019 – The Democratic Alliance looks set to retain the Western Cape. They have received just over 54 percent of votes counted in the province so far. Tracking developments for us from the IEC’s Western Cape results centre is reporter, Pheladi Sethusa.

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DA has taken lead in Cape Town

Cape Town, May 9, 2019 – Reporter Pheladi Sethusa is in the Mother City for us as counting of the Western Cape votes continues. Courtesy #DStv403

Voting underway in Cape Town

Cape Town, May 8, 2019 – Ordinary South Africans and political leaders have come out in numbers today to elect their new government. Pheladi Sethusa was in Kenilworth earlier this morning where ANC veteran Andrew Mlangeni and now joins us from Joe Slovo Park.

Practical, fun apps to help you vote

Screen grabbed photo's of the IEC SA app, available for download on both Play Store and App Store.
Screen grabbed photo’s of the IEC SA app, available for download on both Play Store and App Store.

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on May 6, 2014. 

While  some have criticised political parties of not doing enough on social media to campaign for the elections, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has two different apps in place to help voters through the electoral process.

The Citizen downloaded the apps to their level of usefulness. The fun app, “IXSA” (I vote South Africa) is a 3D digital game that will require 62.64 megabytes of data to download. But that’s all forgotten once you start playing. There are three different missions, with challenges in each to complete. Using a virtual rotary dial you move your 3D avatar around to get to each challenge.

That’s when all the fun begins – you have to get your avatar from their home to a voting station and cast your ballot successfully. The game is a simulation created to take voters through the process in a fun and interactive way. If you have ever played Sims, you will enjoy it.

The practical “IEC SA” app is available for download on Android’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store for a data friendly 4.06 megabytes. The app provides users with access to their voting details.

Along with this, the app lets users find alternate voting stations, look up previous election national and provincial results and a frequently asked questions tab to answer any questions voters may have. It’s an easy to use way of getting important personal information.

Anyone with a smartphone or tablet can be up-to-date with election results and processes at the swipe of a finger.

ELECTIONS: Born to vote

Pre-recorded videos and live-streams from the other provinces were projected onto the wall behind the panel. From left to right: Khadija Patel, DJ Fresh, Kagiso Lediga, Shaka Sisulu and facilitator Tumelo Mothotoane. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
Pre-recorded videos and live-streams from the other provinces were projected onto the wall behind the panel. From left to right: Khadija Patel, DJ Fresh, Kagiso Lediga, Shaka Sisulu and facilitator Tumelo Mothotoane. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

For a group of people largely labelled apathetic, the youth in attendance at a debate on a Tuesday morning, braving the temperamental and rainy Joburg weather – were anything but apathetic.

Yesterday (Tuesday March 11, 2014), JoziHub in Milpark was the venue for the To Vote or not to Vote debate aimed at so-called ‘born-frees’.

Bornfrees stand up

There is a particular fascination with this year’s youth vote as this year the “born-free” generation, children born in 1994, when South Africa became a democracy, will vote for the first time. How they vote and who they plan on voting for are of particular interest because they have grown up in a democratic South Africa.

Lesedi  Molefi of the organisers Live magazine said in the past three months they have interviewed a number of born-frees and found that, “we’re not apathetic and have an incredible role to play,” not only in these elections but in steering the country’s future.

The panel consisted of comedian Kagiso Lediga, journalist Khadija Patel (@khadijapatel), DJ and tweleb DJ Fresh (@DJFreshSA) and social activist Shaka Sisulu (@shakasisulu). The panelists were chosen because they are seen as accessible to the youth and their ideas.

Why should born-frees vote?

Addressing the question, why should born-frees vote, Lediga said: “If you’re not voting, you’re not participating.” DJ Fresh added that participation goes beyond just voting, part of that civic duty is to hold politicians accountable. Sisulu provided an anecdote to explain further: “If you’re dating someone, you can’t see them once every five years – it won’t work, it’s a one night stand then. Put your ballot in the box but make sure to maintain and nurture that relationship over the five years coming.”

The debate was live streamed from Johannesburg to Cape Town and Ginsberg, King Williams Town with questions coming from all three places to the panel. A common complaint from all three provinces was that the youth were never heard. DJ Fresh responded by saying the onus was on political parties to appeal to the youth on their level through channels like twitter and instagram: “Politicians talk at young people and not to them.”

The focus in the latter part of the debate was on what the born-free vote can achieve and individual agency. Patel said, “agency is important – it means having the power within yourself to do something.” The crowd responded well to this and the conversation started to look at ground level solutions and social activism that gear them in that direction.

Lethabo Bogatsu, a self proclaimed born-free said the talk left her feeling empowered and keen to be an active citizen, “I was always going to vote but now I’m not going to stop there. It’s not just the vote and then I’m done. I’m going to work on the relationship, my man is going to be my vote, my political involvement is going to be my man. I’m going to have a relationship there because being single is rough.”

The entire debate can be viewed here.

EDITORIAL: Twisted love affair

It starts  with some subtle courting, then a proposal for a dinner date. You plan the outfit carefully a week before, pick the right shoes and accessories? The day before you get a call to confirm your date, along with it an sms that night saying: “I’m really looking forward to our date tomorrow, sleep tight.”

You arrive on time –15 minutes before, in fact, just to be safe. You ask for a table right in the middle of the restaurant so your date can spot you immediately and so that  the two of you can be seen. After an hour you start to worry, your call is met by voicemail, you text incessantly but in vain. You start to notice patrons whispering about you.

The waiter is optimistic, says he’ll arrive any minute now. The manager has seen this happen before. She is sure you’ve been stood up and should probably just head home. She comes over and says: “These things never work out, don’t do it again.” After waiting 2 and 1/2 hours you admit defeat and head home, maybe it will work out next time, you think.

Voting in our beloved country has become much like the above scenario for many discouraged South Africans. We continue to show up, allow ourselves to trust, to hope and make our mark. Only the other side doesn’t show up. They leave us all dressed up with nowhere to go.

The upcoming elections present an opportunity to make our voices heard, or so they say. There are millions of voices trying to have their say, our government can only do so much, right? They may listen but it’s hard to believe they actually hear us. My generation has only just entered the arena as citizens with a voice, but already so many of us are weighed down by an overwhelming apathy because of the disconnect we can see in the promises made and the promises kept.

We fill our heads with countless readings, hours of roundtable discussions and engage with one another on theinterwebs trying to find a way. Just trying to find someone and something to believe in, someone and something bigger than the various constraints of our supposed privilege and contrasting poverty. There’s not much consensus between our leaders and us, the youth and the future. We don’t believe their lies, but we know it’s all  part of a bigger  game – if they don’t do it someone else will. We don’t believe there’s any point in choosing the lesser evil either, picking a side just to pick a side. The whole thing smells like a convoluted fishy mess to me.

But what choice do we have? If we keep quiet, we’ll have to watch it all burn. If we make a spoiled mark we may be accused of dishonouring those who shed blood to give us this right. If we agree to just pick a side as an act of “democracy”, we would willingly be hopping aboard  “The Assimilation”, a ship destined for failure.

We don’t have the answers, we may never have them. They don’t have them either but they think they do. We have a choice to make, an important one.

It’s up to us to make the one that says the plan isn’t working, one that says let’s revise the plan, let’s turn the plan on its head if need be.

Our inked thumbnails do mean something and will mean something either good or bad for those to come. As the architect in the Matrix said: “Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness.”