COSATU urges all South Africans to visit their voting stations this weekend to ensure they are registered to vote in the 2024 elections

31 January 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) urges all South Africans 16 years and older to visit their voting stations this weekend to ensure they are registered to vote in the 2024 elections. 

Participation by all adult citizens in elections is a key cornerstone of our democracy.  It is important for all adult South Africans visit their voting station to register if they have not yet done so, to re-register if they have moved homes since their last registration and to ensure their names reflect on their voting station’s voters’ roll.

Whilst some may question why they should vote, it is important to remember the right to vote was denied to the majority of South Africans before 1994 and this right was won through decades of blood, imprisonment and many other painful sacrifices. 

Many persons frustrated with our various challenges as a society, may question the importance of voting.  It’s important to appreciate that every single vote counts.  Elections in many municipal wards in South Africa have been decided by a single vote.  We’ve seen similar experiences internationally.

The high turnouts we have been able to mobilise for successive elections since 1994 in support of our ally, the African National Congress, have had a positive impact.  Strong ANC majority governments have ensured that 60% of the state budget goes towards uplifting the poor and investments in working class communities.  This includes 27 million South Africans receiving a social grant, the rolling out of public and municipal services to disadvantaged communities, passing progressive labour laws to protect the rights of workers amongst many other achievements the ANC led government has rolled out since 1994.

Critics may dismiss these as old victories and ask what has the current administration led by President Cyril Ramaphosa achieved?  Again, there have been real victories that COSATU working with the ANC led administration has won.  These include the National Minimum Wage that has raised the wages of six million workers across the private sector, a very successful campaign to manage a devastating global pandemic and the release of R64 billion from the Unemployment Insurance Fund to help 5.7 million workers who had lost wages during COVID-19, the roll out of the SRD Grant helping 8 million unemployed persons and the pending implementation of the two pot pension reforms that will provide relief to millions of highly indebted workers through early access to their pension funds.

COSATU and its Affiliates urge all voters in particular the youth, those who have never registered and workers who have changed addresses to register.  The gains we have won since 1994 not only need to be defended and secured but also to be enhanced and used as a foundation to grow the economy and slash unemployment, to rebuild public services and accelerate the fight against crime and corruption. 

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687