Election Brief: The Youth Vote

21st April 2009 By: Idasa, an African Democracy Institute

South Africa like most developing nations has a high proportion of its population falling into the category of 'youth'. Although young black South Afrians played a significant role in the struggle against apartheid, subsequently their role in shaping socio-economic and political outcomes has diminished. This year, the 'youth' of South Africa have elicited considerable attention because of their high rates of voter registration and the potential impact they may have on determining the outcome of the elections. Moreover, the increasing power of the youth league wihtin the ANC, particularly the role they played in ensuring the ascension of Jacob Zuma to the presidency of the ANC has highlighted the need to acknowledge and understand the role that they play in South African politics. Globally, the Obama campaigns success at attracting the youth vore resurrected the constituency's importance in determining election outcomes...

 

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By Neeta Misra-Dexter of Idasa