A Vote Of Defiance: In South Africa, It Is A Vote For Or Against The Anc

A Vote Of Defiance: In South Africa, It Is A Vote For Or Against The Anc

South Africans in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province must cross hilly terrain with little infrastructure to reach polling stations in what promises to be a pivotal general election for the country.

The African National Congress party, which led South Africa out of apartheid’s brutal white minority rule in 1994, is defending its three-decade dominance. It is now the target of a new generation of discontent in a country of 62 million people, with half estimated to be poor. Thembekile Ngema, 72, walked 20 minutes down a dirt path to her polling station and told the Associated Press about her frustration with the country’s youth’s economic hardships.

Our children are in their late thirties and have no employment opportunities. This is heartbreaking for us as elderly parents because they are supposed to be caring for us at this age. I can’t enjoy my government grant money because I have to use it to care for my children,” she explained as she sat outside a polling station at a school in Umlalazi, a semi-rural area near one of KwaZulu Natal’s oldest towns, Eshowe.

Africa’s most advanced economy faces some of the world’s most serious socioeconomic challenges, including one of the highest unemployment rates at 32%.

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