With only a day to go before the national general elections, South Africans are uncertain of the kind of change that will soon befall them. I feel like this is the most significant general election since 1994 and sadly I was not old enough to vote in ’94.

There has been an air of general complacency in our national politics that most people felt, at a point, that it was irrelevant whether they actively participate or not. For many years we felt that whether we voted or not, the political landscape will remain the same, until now.

For the first time I feel my vote has the power to make a difference, something like how my parents felt when they rushed to the polls on the 27th of April in 1994 voting to usher in a new democracy that sought to involve black people in national politics for the first time. 25 years later we have had a say in politics that we opted to take for granted. Five general elections later we find ourselves needing to cast those votes again so we could get involved in another aspect of national life as citizens of this country, and that aspect is the Economical aspect which was first introduced( at least to me) by the Economic freedom fighters (EFF).

Over the years since the party’s launch and their involvement in South African Politics, EFF has forced us to take another look at our national lives as black people and convinced us that we have been given half the freedom we deserve; the party convinced us that there is more to being free than merely having the right and ability to roam the streets of town at any time of the day or night; there is more to being free than just having the right to free water and free education; more to being free than merely having good roads and good schools (structures only so far) to utilize. The EFF transformed our political thinking and got us thinking of the possibilities of owning land and means of productions instead of only hoping to get jobs. This, I would argue, was the natural evolution of politics in our country and the rise of other parties such as BLF proves that it is a natural progress which was inevitable. The tide is turning.

In spite of all the progress that the EFF has made, it is disheartening to considered that the Democratic Alliance is still a bigger threat to the ruling party than the EFF is. This I find very strange because there is still yet to be a DA policy that I find resonates with me as a young black South African and I am under the impression that the majority of people in the country are the black youth. I tried to compare the major parties in South Africa using the “…Lives Matter” schism and as far as I am concerned they are as follows:

EFF= #Black Lives Matter
DA = #White Lives Matter
ANC =#All Lives Matter

As I see it, the development of many political parties in the country, including the two listed above, is as a reaction to the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC started ruling through the Transitional Executive Committee (TEC) in the year preceding the ’94 elections in what could be labeled a ‘trial run’ to see if they would not run the country to the ground. This committee was made up of 8 members of the ANC and another 8 Members of the National Party (NP), the party solely responsible for Apartheid. As a result, I think the ANC became sympathetic to the needs, interests and concerns of the white minority while still trying not to forget the black majority whom they had led the struggle on behalf of. This is why I say in the eyes of the ANC, #AllLivesMatter, which is fair for a party governing a whole nation and not just the black nation.

The DA, I believe was founded for the purpose of ensuring that the ANC does not forget their place and start acting like a #BlackLivesMatter movement and ignore the interests of the #WhiteLives. This is why I find it strange that they keep putting black faces as leaders as of recent? I guess it could be a result of their growth and natural evolution as a party. I believe the DA is no longer looking to remain the main opposition but has ambitions of becoming an actual ruling party in South Africa if the political environment allows. I personally find this scary for reasons that would need their own article to list.

The EFF, as another “reactionary”party realised the political slumber that many of us where caught up in; and realising the power the DA was wielding and feeling that the ANC was not doing enough to advance the #BlackLives in the country, decided to launch. What we are seeing now is the culmination of what the past 25 years of politics has been brewing and the true feelings of the South African majority will be made known on the 8th of May 2019.

Honestly, at this point I wonder what the many other parties are doing overcrowding the ballot paper. It would be a very interesting election if we only had to cast our vote for only one of these three above mentioned parties but the issues of political lives are broader that the ones mentioned here in the article, that is why we also have on the ballot, a party for Women which seeks to represent women’s interests in parliament as it feels the current parties are not doing women enough justice. We also have a party which seeks to transform the thinking of South Africans as it feels corruption and violent crimes are a result of a lack of morality and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) seeks to bring a moral regeneration.

Whatever the final results after May 8th, change is guaranteed to come in South African politics because one thing is for sure, most of us have been awaken from our political slumber and we realise the power our voices and our votes have in affecting the politics of our country