As we all prepare to vote tomorrow, it’s quite ironic that just over a month ago I wrote about how 18 young cadets had been challenged to “save South Africa’s democracy”. At the time I quoted the CEO of SAMSA, Tsietsi Mokhele who emphasised the role that our seafarers have in moving our economy forward and entrenching our democracy.
Their important contribution to our economy means that they are oftentimes far from home. It means that they miss birthdays, anniversaries, public holidays and of course tomorrow they will miss the opportunity to vote.
While there are structures in place for those who cannot attend a polling station tomorrow to cast their vote earlier – there do not seem to be mechanisms in place for those at sea to have their say in the future of their own government.
These are not South Africans who have chosen to work abroad or who have emigrated, leaving behind the potholes, the crime, the debates about open toilets or service delivery. These are citizens who do still live in the cities, the suburbs and the provinces that will have their leadership structures challenged tomorrow.
Don’t waste your voice – make sure you honour those that are unable to do so and make your vote count.