Students’ votes hinged on the education factor

Local Government Elections are officially underway, students tell us which campaigning strategies have appealed to them the most, and would likely influence them in their conscious decision when casting their vote.

Wits students say political parties who promise changes to educational policies will win their votes.

This past weekend saw three of South Africa’s major political parties, ANC, DA and EFF campaigning and rallying to pull in supporters for today’s election. Wits Vuvuzela caught up with Witsies to talk about which of campaigning strategies have influenced their vote.

Wits graduate Yeshiel Panchia (24) said he would like to hear that parties are committed towards improving the country’s educational policies, he said he wants parties to deliver on a promise of free tertiary education in the next five years, or an “improvement on education on all grounds”.

Second year film and television students Tahlia Govender (21) and Nosicelo Dlamini (21) said they haven’t yet decided which party they will vote for but are also concerned about whether the parties will be able to implement effective education policies. Dlamini said “actions speak louder than words”, and political parties must show that they are listening to their people and are “willing to take us seriously”, said Dlamini.

Dlamini said free tertiary education is something she wants in her lifetime, but it’s “too radical”, and right now education at the foundation level must be made accessible and free. “Everyone must walk away with a matric [certificate],” she said.

Panchia added that students campaigning on campus is not wrong to do but that it does get annoying at times.

His colleague, Hankyeol Lee (22) who is a Wits graduate and now teaches Film and Television, and Art at Wits said that campaigning and  posters can have an effect on people’s decisions to vote, “It’s like raising the flag”, she said. Posters subconsciously affiliates consumers with the people that have historically supported and comforted them, this is a strategy which would effortlessly get them a vote, said Lee.

Nicky Patchitt (19) who is also a second year Film and Television student, said parties that campaign with big banners and posters don’t affect her. She said they “are saying nothing”, they spend so much money, but make “no real promises”.

Polling booths opened at 7am this morning and will close at 7pm after which counting will begin.

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