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South Africa elections 2024: Can ANC overcome challenge from Zuma, DA, EFF and others? - BBC News South Africa elections 2024: Can ANC overcome challenge from Zuma, DA, EFF and others? - BBC News
(32 minutes later)
Anne Soy Catherine Byaruhanga
BBC News, Durban BBC News, Soweto
At City Hall in Durban, in Kwa-Zulu-Natal province, older voters are helped up the
staircase to join a special queue for those over the age of 60.
One of them, 89-year-old
Elayne Dykman, tells me she hopes that young people in South Africa do not take their
vote for granted.
Savathri Naidoo, 84, says she hopes her vote will bring There is something heartwarming about seeing different generations arriving at a polling station - from the elderly who are being helped along to ballot boxes, to first time voters and even young children coming along with their parents.
change for pensioners: “The pension is too low and rent high.” My colleague and I are at the Orlando West High School polling station just off the historic Vilakazi Street where both Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Desmond Tutu once lived.
Joining the queue are Sharon Nyovane and her 14-year-old son, Luvuyo.
This poll is crucial too for the younger generation who are beset by high unemployment rates. Change is on their minds and if the opinion polls are anything to go by, it is occuyping the thoughts of many others across the country too.
Around 45% of young South Africans do not have jobs - Ayanda Hlekwane, born two years after the end of apartheid in 1994, is among this group. He’s never found employment despite holding three degrees. But the horrors of apartheid are hard to escape and the role the African National Congress (ANC) played in ending white-minority rule remains strong in people’s memories.
“Just looking back from where we came from and where our parents came from - it’s that versus the upcoming generations and the change that we want to see for them,” says Nyovane.
Last year he completed his Masters in food nutrition and says he’s kept going back to college to avoid sitting at home unemployed. Her son can't vote yet, but tells us: “I’m very excited to vote at the next election because I think it would give us a chance to express our opinions on what we need to vote for so our country can get fixed.”
“I’m working on my PhD proposal so that I go back to study in case I don’t get a job,” he says. Some voters here tell us they will vote for the ANC but they also acknowledge change via job creation and the improvement of services is needed.
He wants his vote to make a difference: “I feel optimistic there will be change.” If the ANC is to maintain its parliamentary majority in these hotly contested elections, its supporters in strongholds like this need to come out and vote.
Outside the polling stations, four political parties have set up branded tents to help voters confirm their electoral registration details before joining the queue.
Dressed in their party colours, they sit calmly - the atmosphere is respectful.
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