2018 was a lot to digest. Corruption has weakened the South African economy. The mismanagement of state resources and misusing of taxpayers money have lead citizens to lose trust in political leaders and in many cases, empathetic to politics and elections. We decided to get the views of young South Africans on what they thought of the 2018 political year.


“It seems like our country is ruled by external factors.”

Aphiwe Nkonzo (23) is not feeling at all optimistic with who is really leading South Africa. “It was revealed to us that politics is for big fish — small fish get nothing. For instance, what happened with Zuma and the Gupta state capture issue? Those people in power are only thinking for themselves and President Ramaphosa is trying to do the right thing but all things are falling apart and people are blaming him. It seems like our country is ruled by external factors”.

He added that with the recent change of Tito Mboweni as the Minister of Finance, he believes it proves much more promising to the economy of the country. Among the promises Mboweni made was the focus of the agricultural sector as one of the major contributors to the economy.

“…as the minister, he was supposed to behave in a very good manner.”

“People in cabinet are not trustworthy and reliable because they allowed the Gupta’s to take over our state resources. With regards to the Malusi Gigaba’s issue (leaked video), as the minister he was supposed to behave in a very good manner; now he lost his dignity with something that he hadn’t controlled or managed,’’ these were the frank words said by Sinaye Sabalele, a 25 year old post graduate in Public Relations Management.

She continued by reflecting on a February 2018 statement by then Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba that about R57 billion for the next three years had been allocated to fund free education for students who come from poor backgrounds. She, like many students are awaiting for this to come to fruition.

Coalition government on the horizon?

Sandiso Mzantsi (27) believes that we are heading for a coalition government. “I don’t see a winning party that can be able to clean up all the mess,” he said. Sandiso thinks we need closure regarding former president Jacob Zuma by seeing those people who are implicated in any kind of corruption, go to jail. Thus ensuring accountability and transparency concerning everyone in power.

On the contrary, he was very pleased when President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed former Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni Abrahams as the new Minister of Communications. “She served as the deputy minister for a long time and it is exciting to see young women in leadership positions.”

Disclosure of party funds

It was a heavy political year for 30 year old, Buliswa Mzana. Although a highlight for her was when Parliament passed the important bill on Party Funding. This Bill will ensure transparency on the funding of parties in Parliament. In 2016 it was reported that R46 billion was spent unlawfully by local and provincial municipalities.

My Vote Counts NPC is a non-profit company founded to improve the accountability, transparency and inclusiveness of elections and politics in the Republic of South Africa. We work to ensure that the political and electoral systems are open, fair and accountable to the public and that they remain relevant in the changing South African socio-political context.