Corruption is the reason why I am not voting

Published May 28, 2024


I simply feel apathetic towards the electoral process due to a lack of interest in politics, and I believe that my participation won't lead to meaningful change.

They say voting is one of the fundamental ways for citizens to hold elected officials accountable and to advocate for change. By exercising our right to vote and actively engaging with the political process, we have the opportunity to influence decision-making and demand accountability from those in power, however, that is not the case for ordinary South Africans.

I feel frustrated and disillusioned with the state of governance and development in the Eastern Cape, especially considering its historical significance and the prominent public figures it has produced. The neglect of infrastructure, lack of basic services, and unfulfilled promises from politicians, are significant challenges that affect the lives of many residents and the reason why I am not voting.

I feel disillusioned with the political parties on offer and believe that none of them adequately represent their interests or address their concerns. Widespread corruption, scandals, and broken promises by politicians have eroded trust in the political system and discouraged me from participating in elections. Not forgetting the barriers of participation, factors such as long queues at polling stations, lack of access to information about candidates and parties, and logistical challenges.

The prevalence of corruption in the Eastern Cape province, as in other parts of South Africa, undoubtedly contributes to voter apathy. This leads to feelings of disempowerment among ordinary citizens who feel that their voices are not being heard or that their votes will not make a difference in combating corruption and improving governance.

The practice of political patronage, where individuals in positions of power use their influence to benefit themselves or their supporters, fuels corruption. This often involves the awarding of government contracts, appointments to key positions, and allocation of resources based on political connections, rather than merit.

Our politicians prioritise the interests of certain groups over the wellbeing of the entire country and that undermines the principles of democracy and perpetuates inequality and injustice. Our politicians say community organising, grassroots movements, and civil society initiatives can also play a crucial role in driving change and holding government officials accountable for their actions, however, the cry of the nation is still not heard.

The situation for those who are from the villages has not change. Some people from the Eastern Cape still live under disheartening conditions, where they lack basic services, where they have no means to make ends meet.

I believe that political parties and candidates must demonstrate a genuine commitment to fighting corruption and promoting good governance if they wish to regain the trust and confidence of voters.

* Oceans Marasha is a multi-media reporter intern at IOL

** The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of IOL or Independent Media.