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Youth would rather protest than vote

- Institute for Security Studies/The Times

A study by Masters’ student, Lauren Tracey, found that young people feel elections are no longer an effective way of changing or improving the country.

The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) monograph, titled: Do you want my vote? Understanding the factors that influence voting among young South Africans, provides a detailed picture of young South Africans’ perceptions of politics and of the factors that infuence their participation in elections.

Download and read the complete monograph.

The Times yesterday published details of the study that involved 49 one-on-one interviews and 277 with focus groups at 34 high schools or institutions of higher learning last year.

“...the study found that young voters, particularly in high schools and at FET colleges, were put off by poor service delivery, poor quality of school education, crime and high unemployment rates.

Citing Statistics SA, the study said about 1.9 million South Africans were aged 18 and 19 and eligible to vote, but only 646000 (about a third) registered to vote in the 2014 national and provincial government elections. About 64% of citizens aged 20-29, and about 79.8% of those aged 30-39, registered.

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Lauren Tracey joined the ISS in April 2009 as a Sarah Meek fellow, and then as a researcher in the Arms Management Programme in 2011. In May 2012 she joined the Governance, Crime and Justice Division of the ISS as a researcher. Her research focuses on issues of governance, particularly as it relates to the youth and their democratic participation in South Africa. She holds a BA (honours) and postgraduate diploma in international relations; and is currently completing her masters degree in developmental sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand.