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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs