News / Africa

Young South Africans of Born-Free Generation Not All Keen to Vote

Young South Africans of the Born-Free Generation Not All Keen to Votei
X
Emilie Iob
April 24, 2014 10:34 PM
As general elections in South Africa approach, many young people who were born after the end of apartheid will vote for the first time. But as Emilie Iob reports for VOA News in Johannesburg, not all of them are keen to do so.
As general elections in South Africa approach, many young people who were born after the end of apartheid will vote for the first time, but not all of them are keen to do so.

ANC, EFF, DA, COPE... these parties' campaigns are in full swing.  
 
These May 7th elections come 20 years after South Africa elected its first black president, Nelson Mandela - marking the end of white-minority rule.
 
Mandela's ANC party has dominated politics ever since.
 
Analysts predict the ANC will win again, but by a smaller margin given its poor record on basic service delivery, entrenched unemployment and corruption scandals.
 
This disenchantment may be affecting South African first-time voters.
 
Only one-third have registered to vote.  And even among those that did, some, like university student Simela Tseka, say they are not sure their choice will matter.  
 
"I felt like it was my duty as a South African citizen to vote.  But you know, as of lately my thought on democracy has been changing.  Democracy only offers us an opportunity to put people in power, but after that you don't get to decide how they use that power," said Tseka.

Tseka says he's tired of ANC scandals.
 
But the ANC still has huge support based on its historical legacy.  In the Kliptown district of Soweto, Thabisile Gasa does not hesitate when asked whom she is going to vote for.

"Jacob Zuma, of course !  Because of ANC, we have our freedom," said Gasa.

Gasa says while her main concerns are a lack of jobs and schools in the townships, she believes 20 years is not enough time to fix all problems and that President Zuma and the ANC will eventually deliver.  

ANC support runs in the family. Gasa's mother Elizabeth Mncube says the ANC has made her life better.
 
"I'm happy with the ANC because they gave me a grant and they promised me a house," said Mncube.

Mncube says she has been waiting for that house since 1999 but is confident the ANC will eventually deliver.
 
Not so for 19-year-old Neo Prince Tom, who lives a few blocks away and does not plan to vote at all.

"I think that's my way of protesting, by not voting.  Because if I'm voting, that means I'm saying I agree with everything that they do, you know? But by not voting, I see it as a way of denying everything that they come up with," said Tom.

Tom distrusts all current political parties.
 
"Our parents would always say: 'The ANC has fought for freedom'  And it's not all about that, you know, it's all gone.  What we should focus on, is what is still coming.  It's tomorrow," he said.

Polls show Tom is typical of the "born-frees" - as they're called - who have only known democracy and think the government is out touch.
 
And South Africa is a young nation.  Nearly half of the 25 million registered voters are under 40.  The question is how many of them will vote?

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs