‘High unemployment, corruption discourage many youth from voting’

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The legal and development practitioner and the first and former AU Youth Ambassador for Peace for Southern Africa, Karabo Mokgonyana, says many young South Africans are discouraged from voting because of the high unemployment rate, corrupt officials, and a lack of service delivery.

Day 2 of the 2024 Elections Voter Registration Weekend gets underway, with the IEC still targeting to register one million South Africans, with special emphasis placed on young and first-time voters.

Voters in the age group of 29 and under make up the majority of the voter rolls in the country.

The IEC says the registration numbers, especially among young eligible voters, are very low.

Mokgonyana says young people do not see how their vote contributes to any change in SA.

“There are actually several reasons that account for this youth voter dissatisfaction and the unwillingness to participate in the political process. I think some of those include the lack of actability by political party leaders. Once you elect, there’s a lot of detachment in terms of the involvement of youth at the voting center; thereafter, it doesn’t really matter. There’s a big distrust in the political process because of corruption within the government. So, we don’t understand if it’s really working and what your vote is really doing. The lack of service delivery, high unemployment, and load shedding of all these experiences on a daily basis makes us wonder what exactly my vote is doing when I’m experiencing all these hardships. The performance of the economy is not doing much for me as an individual.”

Voter Registration Weekend | Eligible voters urged to go and register to vote: