Many young voters, even those who say they’re politically active often fail to turn out at the polls. There are tons of other things that young people are focusing on at the moment.
Mainly they are seeking employment or trying to establish their own businesses. It goes without saying that the youth find politics uninteresting hence most of them who were interviewed by Ekurhuleni news said they will not exercise their right to vote.
Palesa Mokoena and Andiswa Masina explained to Ekurhuleni news as to why they will not cast their votes on the 1st of November 2021.
“Majority of young people including me don’t think that voting is an effective way to change the society. I do not know enough to be able to vote. There is a significant lack of knowledge about how exactly the government works and therefore, how our votes actually matter. For me, politicians are only focusing on their interests. Once a person is voted into power he/she changes and he/she doesn’t live up to his/her promises that he made prior to the elections,” said Palesa.
She adds that if young people do not vote, they are less likely to be targeted by political parties. Young people who are contacted by any political organisations are more likely to vote. Additionally, those who discuss about the elections are more likely to vote.
Andiswa Masina says that poverty and unemployment is significant among young people. Opportunities are narrow for young people, more especially black young South Africans. I feel that the political parties take us for granted and they only want us when they need our votes.
“I honestly do not see change but I can safely say that President Cyril Ramaphosa has made a difference in this country. I still want to see more change before I vote. Candidates have a tendency of supplying food parcels to buy people so they can vote for them and I won’t be part of that,” concludes Andiswa.
Young people in this country do not feel that they are heard. They do not feel that their voices matter and most importantly their issues are not addressed. This is the issue that cuts across all political parties.
By Zoleka Batsha and Palesa Ndinisa