LETTER: IT'S NO secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country, so it's sad to discover such apathy in young South Africans. Youth are the future, but there will be no future for us if we do not take steps to shape the government that fits our needs.

The millennial generation has power in numbers. In the elections next year, millions of millennials will be eligible to vote. We choose to give up this power when we decide not to participate in the political process. It is not enough to post a Facebook status stating your displeasure with what is happening in South Africa. Likes and comments don't make a difference - votes do.

Our generation has the power to shape policy, ignite conversations and bring youth issues to the table for discussion. We can continue to speak out and protest, but direct action will not be made until we change those who are in office.

It is time for our generation to step up and take action. Let’s be the leaders of tomorrow, let’s register, vote and make a difference today.

Don't ever willingly give up your right to vote. Democracy works best when everyone votes.

Mariam Ballim