The youth would rather protest than vote in an election. This is according to a new study which was released late last month by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).

Do you want my vote? Understanding the factors that influence voting among young South Africans’ was researched by Lauren Tracey and reflects on youth voter behavior in democratic South Africa.that the youth would rather protest than vote.

“Young people feel as if they are not being engaged on formal democratic processes, and for this reason they would rather resort to protests and demonstrations to get their voices heard,” said Tracey.

The research findings by Tracey expressed that young people were ‘open’ to discussing political issues. “Young people have often said, that if political parties could come out and speak to the students, to find out the challenges they face and how to address those challenges,” said Tracey.  Including young people in the discussions by political parties would make them become more interested in participating politically.

Tracey’s research was based on 49 one-on-one interviews and focus groups involving over 2000 scholars and students at various institutions across the country including Wits University.

Democratic Alliance Youth League alumnus, Dikeledi Selowa, told Wits Vuvuzela that “as young leaders, we need to take up that responsibility of attracting young people.”

“It is earlier for protesting but young people need to remember that we need to move away from violent protests and conduct organized sit-ins to make an impact,” said Selowa.

Wits EFF member Catherine Seabe, said, “Students have become aware of the power of the masses (numbers).” Not disputing that protests have a time and place, Seabe says that we (Wits EFF) have a program were we have been able to get students to vote as an election campaign.

LISTEN: Lauren Tracy, a researcher at ISS and Masters candidate explains the results of the study they conducted to understand the voting behaviour of South African youth in a one-on-one interview on Friday, 29 July.  By Zanta Nkumane

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON Wits Vuvuzela here.  

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