COSATU urges all those who have not registered to vote yet or who have changed their home addresses to register today

23 February 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) urges and reminds all those who have not registered to vote yet or who have changed their home addresses, that today is the final day to do so.

The President announced the election date of 29 May 2024 this week.  Today is the final day registration before the Independent Electoral Commission close the voters’ roll.  You can register or confirm your registration status online at or visit the nearest IEC office at your municipality.

South Africa has many challenges.  These require the active participation of all citizens, in particular young people, to help craft their solutions, to hold governments accountable, to become involved in the policy debates of the nation, to elect those political parties whose policies attract their confidence and ultimately shape society’s direction.

It is normal and healthy for citizens to be suspicious of politicians, but equally its important for us to acknowledge and encourage when they and government do well.  Ordinary citizens are right to be frustrated with the many challenges we have experienced, but we must also be proud of the huge strides we have made in our thirty years as a democracy.

It is no small feat that we avoided mass blood shed and have entrenched a vibrant democracy in 1994.  We have put in place a progressive constitution that compels governments to strive to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor.  Government led by our ally, the African National Congress, spends more than 60% of the budget investing in working class communities.  This includes 27 million South Africans receiving social grants from the state, nearly one million tertiary students receiving free education, the foundations of universal health care are being built, the National Minimum Wage has raised the wages of six million workers across the economy, government worked with COSATU to release R65 billion from the Unemployment Insurance Fund to help 5.7 million workers who lost wages during the COVID-19 lockdown and run one of the world’s most successful campaigns to manage the pandemic and save millions of lives and jobs.

Our challenges remain but we are turning the corner.  Over the past year, unemployment has fallen by over 5%.  Real progress has been made in reducing load shedding with new generation being brought on board and Eskom’s performance being ramped up.  Improvements are being seen in our ports to unlock on export intensive economic sectors.  Government has reinforced the South African Revenue Service, the Police, SIU and other law enforcement agencies, including filling critical vacancies.  We are seeing increasing numbers of persons being charged and brought to court for corruption.  The ANC has shown clearly that even the most powerful persons in society who have broken the law will be held accountable.

The tasks facing government and society are daunting but they can, must and will be tackled.  We have seen real progress in our 30 years of democracy.  Mistakes have been made but we are confident under the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa they are being tackled.  Ultimately all of us must be part of the solution.  This includes making sure we have our IDs and are registered to vote.

Issued by COSATU

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