'White people caused cyclone Idai.': A new campaign uses wild election claims to encourage SA to vote

Business Insider SA

Some of the posters featured in
Some of the posters featured in "Vote for a better South Africa" campaign.
  • Some 5,000 posters with eye-popping quotes from politicians have been distributed in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Cape Town to encourage South Africans to vote.
  • The quotes are followed by the pay-off line: “If you don’t vote, you may as well agree”.  
  • Advertising agency Grid Worldwide, which launched the campaign, said it aims to get apathetic voters to the polls.
  • For more, go to Business Insider South Africa

More than 5,000 posters with controversial quotes from South African politicians have been plastered across Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town to encourage voters to cast their ballots on 8 May.

Quotes from former DA leader Helen Zille, EFF leader Julius Malema, BLF leader Andile Mngxitama and former president Jacob Zuma are all featured in the ‘Vote for a better South Africa’ campaign

The quotes are all followed by the pay-off line: “If you don’t vote, you may as well agree.”


“Colonialism wasn’t all bad” one poster reads, with the quote attributed to a “former political party leader". This is presumably in reference to Helen Zille's series of tweets about colonialism since 2017. 

Also read: We asked two top astrologers what the stars say about the 2019 elections – here’s their prediction

Another poster reads: “White people caused cyclone Idai”, which is attributed to “a socialist party leader” (The BLF's Andile Mngxitama). Another says: “The ANC is more important than the Constitution”, words from a “former president” (Jacob Zuma). 

Some of the posters used
Some of the posters used "Vote for a better South Africa"campaign (supplied)

Clinton Bridgeford, executive creative director at Johannesburg-based Grid Worldwide, says the campaign was launched to get apathetic South Africans to the polls on election day.

Grid funded the posters, which have been posted in high-density pedestrian zones. 


“It's the perfect time [for the campaign],” Bridgeford told Business Insider South Africa. “[This is] high impact directly before the election day while it's top of mind.”

He said the possibility to mobilise South Africans, and the absurdities originating from politicians, sparked the idea behind the campaign.

Bridgeford also urged other South African businesses to encourage voting ahead of the elections.

Grid Worldwide has worked with several local brands like FNB, Liberty, ABSA, MTN, Telkom and ACSA, and recently won a large contract to promote Qatar as a destination.

Also read: A South African agency is helping Qatar promote itself ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup

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