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

Photogallery Kyiv: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Weeki
X
August 29, 2014 2:18 AM
The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid