Steem4Nigeria Engagement Challenge Season 5, Week 1 - Elections In My Country South Africa

in Steem4Nigeria4 months ago



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On Friday we heard that power cuts or “loadshedding”, after 52 days are over. South Africans were supposed to be celebrating but everybody was wondering how long it will last.

Guess what? It lasted exactly two days!

I can tell you one thing. If there were elections tomorrow I doubt very much if the ruling party would have been the majority party.

Politics and elections! What an interesting topic

After I matriculated from school I worked and studied Political Science part-time.

Political Science is a study of the politics of a country, its government, and also the various policies from the origin, development, implementation, and execution.

Boring you might think but when it comes to analyzing political parties and government it becomes interesting.


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The governing system by which South Africa is controlled

When you refer to the governance of South Africa there is always one word that comes to mind, “apartheid”, discrimination of race. It is a word well-known globally.

Like every country, South Africa also has a history. It is when you read the timeline that you appreciate the current governance of the country.

South Africa’s governing history

YEARHAPPENING
1652 The first European settlement in Cape Town (then Table Bay)
1795 Britian occupied Cape Town and its surroundings
1910 The Union of South Africa was established. It was known as a “white” union
1912 The African National Congress (ANC) was founded in 1912 in protest to the “white rule”
1936General Hertzog and his government placed black voters on a separate voter roll called “native voters”
1948The Afrikaner National Party (NP) came to power with even stricter policies. In 1952 they announced that blacks, age 16+ had to carry a passbook with them.
1961South Africa was declared a Republic after a whites-only referendum. Residential segregation and uncalled-for legislation were put in place. Organizations like the ANC were banned.
1976Various uprising by young and old was seen putting pressure on the reigning government. It was clear that they had to reform their policies.
1983The Constitution was reformed. This was to allow Indian and Coloured minorities to limited participation in lower-ranking houses of parliament.
1986 The pass law was scrapped and the anti-apartheid movement was supported internationally. There was no option, South Africa will have to change politically.
1994South Africans of all races took part in the first free for all democratic elections. South Africa become a fully Democratic ruled country.
It now reads as follows in the 1996 Constitution of South Africa,

"Universal adult suffrage, a national common voters roll, regular elections and a multi-party system of democratic government".

The Bill of Rights also now stipulates that it is the right of all citizens to vote.

What is a simple definition of democracy?

The word translates from a Greek word into “the power of the people”.
Demos – people
Kratos - power

South Africa is thus a parliamentary representative democratic republic with a President which is elected by parliament. Parliament consist of a multi-party system. The President appoints his or her cabinet.

Currently, the African National Congress (ANC) is the majority party.

To date, South Africa only had 6 democratic elections with the result that it is relatively new. Whether it is successful is debatable.

I've got one question. Where is all the promised changes?


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South Africa’s election methods

In South Africa, we have two main types of elections namely, National and Provincial. Parliament has 400 seats and in Provincial (9 provinces) the seat differs between 40 and 90 seats. The percentage of votes determines the number of seats a party represents.

These two elections must take place within 5 years and are held together. The only difference is that there are separate ballot papers.

The parties represented must register as a party and pay a registration fee. This fee is R 200,000.00 (South African rand) or 48 579.76 STEEM.

Once a party is registered it nominates candidates for each of the legislatures they want to contest.

There are 6 key factors for elections in a democracy.

  1. The right to vote thus nobody can stop you from voting
  2. Voters have the right to a secret vote
  3. Voters have the right to party information
  4. Voters have the right to choose the party they want to vote for
  5. The election must be free and fair
  6. The outcome of the election must be accepted

To oversee that the election is fair an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) was established to oversee the whole voting process.

Having the IEC in place contributes to the fact that the current voting process is effective.

The voting process

  • If you are 18+ you are free to vote
  • Voting in South Africa happens in person on an open ballot
  • To vote you must be registered. This is normally done on a public registration day or any other day of the week at a municipal office
  • To register as a voter you need to present your identification card
  • Voters are assigned to a voting district. This is based on residence at the time of the vote. Currently, South Africa has 22,933 voting districts
  • These voting districts are assigned unique voting stations
  • Voters can apply to vote outside their registered district if they are not going to present in their area on Election. Voters like the elderly can also apply for a home vote
  • The day of the election will be announced by the President.This day will then also be declared a National holiday
  • There are political party representations at all the voting stations to make sure votes are cast correctly and fair
  • On Election Day, voters must present their identification cards, and their names are marked on the register. The thumb is marked with a spot of special ink and only then will they receive the ballots
  • Ballot papers with the name of the party, the party logo, and a photo of the candidate on the ballot are handed over to the voters
  • Voters marks mark the candidate they vote for with an X
  • Ballots are then folded and deposited in sealed ballot boxes
  • Ballots are counted manually by the IEC in the presence of various political parties
  • The counts of ballots are sent to a central IEC venue where the results are broadcast as it is received
  • The IEC must declare the election as fair to conclude the outcome
South Africa also has Municipal or Local Elections. These elections are a lot less formal than the other two elections but also happen on the same basis.

Do I partake in these elections? Absolutely YES!

Every vote counts and if you want to be part of the decision-making that will not only influence your life but the state of your country you must vote.

I often tell people that if they have not voted they have no right to complain.


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Voting day

It might be a National holiday but a “holiday” it is not. Be prepared to stand in queues for a very long time.
With South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994 people stood for up to 10 hours to vote.

Sometimes you don’t know what is best, to stand freezing on a cold winter’s day or to stand in the heat of the blazing sun. What was helpful for me with the last election was when I took my mother with me. Because of her age, they immediately took us to vote. The whole process took us no longer than 15 minutes.

With the last local government election in 2021 less than half of the registered voters voted. It was the lowest voting turnout to date.

The 5 main reasons for the outcome

  1. Individual barrier. They could simply not make it
  2. Problems at the voting stations. For example, not registered or registered in a different district
  3. Poor performance from the government
  4. No interest to vote
  5. Didn’t know who to vote for

In my personal opinion, I will rate the election and the process as FAIR.


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Suggesting a method of electing leaders to power

There is only one way to elect leaders and that is by voting. The method that must change is the voting method and not the electing of the leader.

I am no expert but what I do know is that times are changing. A toaster is no longer the best electrical appliance that you have. These day air fryers are what makes a kitchen a dream kitchen.

Why can it not be the same with the election process? It is hard to believe that after all these years we are still stuck with a cross on a piece of paper.

Technology can be used in so many ways not just for voters but also for officials to make the registration and voting process so much easier.

  • Online registrations
  • Electronic poll books
  • Technology in voting (mechanical voting or punch card voting)
  • Direct recording systems (Blockchain technology)
  • Technology in sorting
  • Technology in counting

Technology plays a vital role in the election process going forward.


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Would I prefer other forms of governance different from the one you have already and why?

Oh yes!

28 Years as a democratic country and South Africa has only gone backward

47% of South Africans are unhappy with the party they voted for during the last elections

The ages 25 to 54 are the main disappointed group

33% of voters know and have met their candidates

9% of voters are happy with where they live

These are the alarming facts published by an independent market research company, Ipsos, at the end of last year, 2021.

I would love to see a COALITION GOVERNMENT.

A coalition government is where parties form a combined government. This type of government can play an important role in government decisions, appointments, legislation, and budget settings.

I believe that a coalition government will keep the president and his cabinet on their toes. Just what South Africa needs right now.
A coalition government will have the power of a vote of no confidence which can result in the president and his cabinet being removed from office.

There are plenty of countries in the world with proven track records of coalition governments. “Magical Formula” is what it is knows as in Switzerland.

All I want is for government to perform its duties, to stop corruption, and to let South Africa move FORWARD!

Bring back our electricity!


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Ma,am nice post and well detailed.I think is not in South Africa you guys are facing a problem of change after the winning party take over power to rule .Here in Cameroon we always have fake promises during election but when the winning party get there we don’t see any change .Let just hope one day things will be better .Ma,am is south Africa still suffering from racial segregation like before ?

Thanks for the visit my friend! 🎕
In answer to your question.
Nope, South Africa is no longer suffering form racial segregation. The problem is that we are suffering due to the implementation thereof. People are being employed in positions they don't have a clue on what is expected and how to perform which is so sad.

It really hurting to hear that ma,am people who don’t have a clue of what they are doing are been promoted to hold position in the society.Let hope for change soonest

Fingers cross! 🤞

Saludos amiga, al leer su publicación puedo entrar un poco mas en contexto con la situación que atraviesa su país cuando de elecciones se trata.

Sin duda tener un sistema automatizado facilitaría bastante el proceso electoral, en el caso de mi país, aproximadamente un mes antes de las elecciones se hacen actualizaciones para incluir a nuevos votantes y actualizar el domicilio para aquellas personas que se han mudado recientemente y quieren cambiar de centro electoral

Ha estudiado usted una profesión muy interesante, me agrado leerle,

Saludos

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Thank you for the engagement with my post. 🎕

At the time I was studying political science I just wanted to make a difference. So many doors were closed, even for women. Luckily it changed over time.

I was actually wondering this morning to what extend they are using technology in South Africa. As citizens we don't really know how they do things behind the scenes.
I was also thinking, voting with your finger print will be so much easier and faster.

Así es amiga, aquí suelen hacer una verificación biometrica con la huella para verificar la mesa de votación correspondiente, cuando uno va a ejercer el derecho al sufragio deja su huella en un libro y pasa a la máquina votación electrónica que emite un comprobante que es depositado en una caja.

Esto se hace con la finalidad de que al dar por culminado el proceso de votación se cierran las mesas y se procede a hacer auditoría a alguna de las cajas y constatar que coincidan los datos arrojados por el sistema automatizado y los que se cuenten manualmente en presencia de todos los observadores y testigos de cada partido

Ya a las pocas horas de haber culminado el proceso se tienen los resultados irreversibles de todo el proceso electoral, esto gracias a la tecnología!

Saludos cordiales amiga

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Oh wow! That is excellent.

As it is our fingerprints are already on the database when we apply for our identification cards. I cannot understand why our government don't use what they've already got.

Imagine if you can go to a machine, use your fingerprint, and then vote on the machine straight away. It will be paperless which is good for Mother Earth, effective and quick.

Thanks for the engagement!

I saw an interview with your Foreign Minister the other day. Impressive woman!

Naledi Pandor is one of my favorite politicians. (•ิ‿•ิ)
She has such a lazy but powerful manner of speaking.
Very well educated!
I would not mind to see her as our first female president.
PS: Thanks for the visit!

Haz realizado una bella cronología de historia y el proceso electoral en tú país, cuando leo todo lo que han pasado los sudafricanos para por lo menos lograr la democracia y combatir el racismo, esto ha sido una lucha muy ardua.

La tecnología ha llegado para mejorar los métodos electorales, en mi país se utiliza el método digital el cual facilita este proceso y a pesar de contar con esta tecnología muchos se quejan porque pasan 1 hora en una cola. Jaja, me encantaría que algunos Venezolanos leyeran tu publicación y comparen todo ese proceso con el nuestro.

Espero que pronto los procesos electorales cambien en su país y que ese gobierno de coalición sea implementado. Que su deseo se haga realidad con la ayuda de Dios.
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Oh wow! One hour!
The time of the day your vote and the size of the polling stations does play a major role in the time you have to wait.

With the last election some family members stood for 4 hours before they could vote whereby my daughter and her hubby went 30 minutes before voting closed and they stood for 15 minutes.

We can only wait and see how long it will take in 2024 with our next election.
PS: Thanks for the visit!

 4 months ago 

You have presented a beautiful presentation on the topic, even without being in South Africa, I have an idea about their election.

Voters like the elderly can also apply for a home vote

I must say that this makes your country stand out when compared to mine because there is nothing like a home vote here and everyone including the old people must come to their election polling unit.

Thanks for the invite ma, and good luck with the contest.

It is for me to say... thank you for the visit and for the engagement! 🎕
I' glad I could share a little "inside news" of my country.
Wishing you a beautiful day.

 4 months ago (edited)

Nice write up madam, voters must have the right to necessary information that will help them during the time of vote. Best of luck

Thank you for reading and engaging with my post.
It is appreciated!

Great post here. Sometimes I used to wonder between south Africa and Nigeria, which has a better government system

Thank you... Will we ever have the correct answer? I doubt it

You had a visitor (•ิ‿•ิ)

Thank you beautiful mom

You have written a very amazing post and covered each and every facility of the government pf your country in systematic way with all the history which is necessary.

Awh thank you!
It is interesting learning from global elections and the various governments.
Never a dull moment on Steemit, that's for sure (•ิ‿•ิ)
PS: Thanks for the visit!

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 4 months ago 

This is a great article I must say, all the major history of south Africa embedded in a post that is 👍.

It is great to know that south Africa also operates on a democratic system of governance and that is great, this system promotes freedom of right to all citizens.

You also talked about the problem you are facing as a result of bad leadership from the persons in power currently. With the statistics you have, i must say the voting exercise is not too friendly but I hope all this will change if all your methods are judiciously put to use. Greetings

Hello!
Thank you for reading and engaging with my post.
I think that in a way elections and the voting procedure that goes with it is not a likable one where ever you are in the world.
Unfortunately it is something I feel we all need to do.

Fingers cross that a easy and fast system will be implemented before our next election.

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Congratulations!
This post has been upvoted through steemcurator06.
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@harferri
Thank you!! It is appreciated! ☕

With my pleasure :)
Love coffee

That my friend I know too well! (•ิ‿•ิ)

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Technology has a huge role to play worldwide when it comes to elections in the future. A coalition government sounds really nice, it would bring out the best governance.

Thank you for reading and the engagement.☕
I do believe that a coalition government is the true mark of a growing democracy.

Gracias por compartirnos parte de la historia política y el funcionamiento del sistema electoral en tu país. Sería importante dejar de lado las papeletas de votación y pasar al sistema automatizado, lo que dará mayor confianza a los electores, y rapidez en la emisión de resultados.

Espero que pronto el gobierno pueda atender la situación eléctrica por la que han venido atravesando.

Éxitos en el concurso.

Oh gosh, the electricity 🙈
It was on the news tonight thai it will be indefinitely still be with us for another 1,5 years.

Thank you for reading my post and engaging with it.

My good friend @patjewell 🤗,
Your entry is super amazing, woooow! You have detailedly outlined the steps and requirements for voting proceedings carried out in your country. Just like in my country Cameroon, your country sets an age limit of 18, with an open ballot process. It is amazing to see that you guys practice the democratic system of governance just like mine. It is so sad to hear that voters are made to wait for a durable amount of time to cast a vote, and with limited shelter provided, it's a good thing you went with your mother 😀. Nonetheless, your elections are fair enough, the only issue is the fact that citizens end up not casting a vote due to time delayed. In my country, time is not the problem; our biggest problem is vote manipulations in various forms (vote buying, etc).

Thank you for sharing

Oh gosh! Vote buying! That is crazy.
Well, I suppose I won't know what is happening "behind the curtains" in my own country.
We should be able to vote automatically with our fingerprints.
Not so easy to chop of hundreds of hands (•ิ‿•ิ)
PS: Thanks for the visit!

You are welcome my friend 🤗

I regret very much the subjugation of slavery with all its history, almost all the peoples of the world, have gone through, are going through and will continue to go through, all kinds of subjugation and control. Those who study politics, consciously or not, are participants and accomplices of this great tragedy. There are no rights that are worth if you do not know or try to understand what causes these events. They do not know what they are fighting against and that makes this situation permanent.

You are right, we need to make an effort to understand the why's and the how's.
From there we only teach our children and grandchildren to be different.
Thanks for the engagement!

Hola amiga, es bastante lamentable Sudáfrica, en mi país el sistema es automatizado y personalmente no confió en ello ya que el gobierno es el que tiene el poder de controlar todo a su antojo y conveniencia.

Espero que la situación cambie en su país para mejor. Éxitos!!

In the end, can we ever be happy? I don't think we will ever see a full proof system. Hopefully my country will try to improve to get close to it.

Thank you for reading and for your engagment.

You have written a well mannered and a detailed post about your country south africa. I read the post and I really appreciated by your work. I also think of comparing the government systems of south africa and Nigeria as they both have a great system of government.

Thank you!
I appreciate your engagement with my post.
We can only keep fingers cross that our governments can improve on the election process.

 4 months ago 

Hey dear,

47% of South Africans are unhappy with the party they voted for during the last elections

Just as normal you wrote awesomely dear friend, it's nomal act that some would always fight against a particular government, at times for selfies reasons. To me the only thing to concentrate is electing the right person.

Thank you very much for sharing, please you can check my own entry here

wishing you success

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