How to Hire a President

30 years ago, South Africa had its first democratic election. This election marked the end of Apartheid and ushered in the democratic South Africa we know today.

On May 29th, South Africans will go to the polls to vote in the country’s 7th democratic national election. This year, there are dozens and dozens of parties to choose between on the ballot paper. But for many young voters, having lots of options doesn’t make it any easier.

“I am definitely feeling confused in terms of which party to vote for, and that’s because I do not trust any political party to fulfill its promises.” – Sikelela Rollom

Radio Workshop put out a call to youth at our partner radio stations to find out how they’re feeling about the upcoming election. We heard a lot of the same sentiments: they’re confused and nervous. In our latest podcast episode, How To Hire a President, Radio Workshop producer Naomi Grewan went on a hike with some young people in Johannesburg to get a sense of the election issues that are important to them.

Civil society organization Activate Change Drivers invited different political parties to a hike to speak to youth about their environmental policies. They hoped this event would help those voters figure out which party aligned with their interest in climate change. This is where Naomi met Tebelelo Lidzwani, a fellow young voter and program coordinator at Activate.

“I still don’t know who to vote for, and 29 May is fast approaching. You cannot separate politics and the environment, the two are inextricably linked.” – Tebelelo Lidzwani, Program Coordinator at Activate

Tebelelo sees her vote as an employment contract. She says the African National Congress doesn’t deserve our vote by virtue of being in power for many years, but the newer parties are too ‘neo-liberal’ for her.

Over 27 million South Africans have registered to vote – the highest since the birth of South African democracy 30 years ago. The electoral commission is hoping for a 70% voter turnout, higher than 66% in the previous election, and they believe that young voters will drive that increase.

Listen to How To Hire a President on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

This story wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Constitutionalism Fund and Luminate.

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