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Election 2024: What’s your motivation to vote?

Basic service delivery needs are driving people to the polls

Motivation factors that push citizens to vote have changed vastly over the years.

Basic service delivery needs are now driving people to vote, while a lack of change remains the motivating force for many to rush to the polls or stay at home on election day.

While the 1994 elections were about political freedom, this time around crucial service delivery issues affecting voters’ bread and butter are at the top of the list.

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According to political analyst Dr Maxwell Shamase, with the high unemployment rate, especially among the youth, lack of proper water provision, regular power cuts, escalating crime and other daily struggles, most people just want change and to improve their lives.

“In 1994, people voted for political freedom and for democracy but now they are looking for economic and social freedom. It’s now about basic needs and if they can be met by those who will take power.

“Over nine million people, including graduates, are without jobs or shelter. There are many factors making South Africans want a change in power,” he said.

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However, according to Shamase, while citizens continue to seek change they are left in an unprecedented sense of uncertainty on who deserves their vote.

“There are many political parties with promises. Many are zigzag parties that branched off from the ruling party. Voters are making comparisons based on their promises and will make up their minds after identifying the party that speaks to them personally,” said Shamase.

Echoing Shamase’s sentiment is cultural and political analyst, Prof Musa Xulu.

“In 1994, the majority of voters had never experienced the act of voting, based on the colour of their skin. They were voting for a non-racial, non-sexist democratic future.

“In 2024, we see the democracy that was envisioned maturing and becoming the norm. The fact that there is no political violence speaks volumes about our democratic maturity.

“The voters are voting for the entrenching of the democratic experience with the hope of doing the same in the economic sphere.

Economic participation for all seems to be a central issue in 2024, as opposed to political participation in 1994,” said Xulu.

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