Students and Politics

Politics is a science which deals with the governing of a country and its people.

Like any other science it has its rules and laws which when put to work produce specific effects. Many debate about the participation of students in politics but the truth is, there is nothing wrong in students understanding the laws that govern their country.

The word politics has acquired a reputation for being associated with all things negative. It does not help to see our members of parliament being involved in corruption, for example, especially in South Africa.

There may be different reasons for students wanting to get involved in politics, whether it be economically or socially motivated.  Remember the #feesmustfall hashtag which was economically based whereas wanting better service delivery, like public transport, is social.

In South Africa, 2019 is an election year and The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says 700 000 new voters have been added to the voters’ roll ahead of this year’s National and Provincial elections. Many of which would have been students as the voting age is 18 in our country. 

Which is hugely positive because young people have different perspectives and opinions which can be reflected when (and for who) they vote. 

Statistics, however, are showing that the youth are increasingly becoming apathetic towards SA politics for a variety of reasons with, probably, the main reason being, as alluded to earlier in this post, that politicians are often portrayed in a bad light and this is shown in the media, which causes negativity.

On the flip side, if politicians misdeeds are not reported on then it would almost become OK to do, which it isn’t.

Also, a mindset that things will never change causes people to lose interest in politics and the running of the country which the live in. Which affects the younger generation more because they will live in the country for longer!

But it needs to be noted that if you don’t vote, then you don’t get to have your say and you won’t see the changes you would like to.

If you didn’t register to vote, eligible voters who missed an opportunity to register still have a window of opportunity to register at IEC offices before the President proclaims the election date.