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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid