New organisation wants South Africans to take charge of their destiny

A newly launched civil society movement, Vote South Africa First, is calling on South Africans to take a more powerful role in determining who governs the country.

Vote South Africa First Convener Dr Bheki Shongwe says that the people’s movement will promote election participation, voter education and political accountability.

“Come elections, we want South Africans to become part of the election process. They time has got to come to an end – where political parties come up with their party manifesto, they sell the manifesto to us so that we vote for them – [but] once they’re in power, they do what they wish and they never want to listen to us.”

Dr Bheki Shongwe, Convener at Vote South Africa First

Dr Shongwe points out that the masses fought for South Africa’s democracy. Therefore, the organisation doesn’t believe that South Africans should have to leave everything in the hands of a political party and take the back seat.

“We want to give South Africans a platform so that they can determine the kind of government they want.”

Dr Bheki Shongwe, Convener at Vote South Africa First

“No more should we, as a society, put our trust and everything into politicians and political parties to determine our future.”

Dr Bheki Shongwe, Convener at Vote South Africa First

The organisation will ask political parties to sign a pledge promising that they will promote the interest of the people over personal and party interests. Those who have signed the pledge will have the logo of Vote South Africa First on their campaign posters.

The movement will encourage South Africans to vote and to help encourage others to vote. They will also aim to help educate voters.

“We want to have an informed society when it comes to voting.”

Dr Bheki Shongwe, Convener at Vote South Africa First

The organisation doesn’t support any particular party – who to vote for is a decision that’s up to the voter. But they want voters to be aware of political spin, empty promises used to bribe voters and corruption.

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