I will be heard

Barbara Maregele
Barbara Maregele

I was born into a new South Africa. At a time when the promise of a country, free from any prejudice, was enough to win the majority vote during the first democratic elections.

Now, 20 years later, I often wonder if the visions of those who fought countless battles for freedom, have been lost in translation somewhere along the way.

Our nation has come a long way since the dissolution of apartheid. However, these successes should not overshadow the concerning fact that a large number of people still do not have access to basic services and discrimination remains rife within our communities.

During the build-up to the 1994 elections, the feeling of excitement was shared among people from all walks of life, regardless of race or creed. People queued for hours for their turn to vote, for the chance to be heard.

The general view of indifference towards voting shared by a large percentage of “born-frees” speaks to the lack of national pride that once united the nation with the euphoric feeling of hope.

In all fairness, casting your vote is making a stance to elect a political party into power that best represents you, instead of one that without a doubt has never disappointed. The battle for democracy is not over. The generations before us fought for freedom. Now, we have to fight to keep it that way.

For me, choosing not to vote or spoiling my ballot would bare scary similarities to the deafening silence of oppression forced on the masses during apartheid.

So today, like those before me, I will make cast my vote. I will be counted. My voice will be heard.

The author is a journalist for GroundUp. This is her personal opinion.

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TOPICS:  Politics

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