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Elections 2024: Young voter says new-gen voters have the power to mould South Africa’s future

Twenty-year-old Blaise Stainbank says the new generation of voters is more informed than ever and with that power comes the responsibility to shape the country's future.

A NEW generation of voters have signed up to have their say in the 2024 elections with hopes of making a positive change to the political landscape of the country they are next in line to lead. Mayville resident Blaise Stainbank falls into the batch of 1.2 million new voters, 77% of whom are under 29 years of age.

Stainbank says that he was motivated to register because he believes that all young people of legal age should make their voices heard. “There needs to be a very strong focus on preparing the upcoming generation to make informed decisions when they vote. Ways to do this would be through proper education programmes when we are in school. Because, although we all can vote, we don’t all have the same level of access to information, and this could potentially affect election outcomes for generations to come if it’s not addressed.”

Also read: Elections 2024: IEC says its all systems go

The 20-year-old says he would like to see a stronger focus on education and workforce training, development, and affordable housing for those who can’t afford it. As a Durban resident, Stainbank says that the city’s cleanliness should be improved. “We have a beautiful city, but when I got my licence and started driving, I noticed how badly the infrastructure is deteriorating, and many parts of the city are not maintained properly.”

Stainbank says he hopes to see load-shedding become a problem of the past in the next decade and says he feels strongly that young people are responsible for moulding the future of the country and should not only strive to inform themselves on political issues but should also use platforms that were not as avidly available before, such as social media – not to have their say in political discourse.

Also read: Elections 2024: Students voice their expectations ahead of SA elections

“I think that the previous generation comes from a time when they were influenced only by those around them, like family members, and they modelled their opinions after the opinions they heard. However, because of this, our generation has been encouraged by our parents to think for ourselves and have our own opinions, and because of that, I think our votes will be more aligned with what we actually believe as opposed to what people want us to believe,” said Stainbank.

To view the list of candidates for the national and provincial elections, click on this link.


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