Do you want my vote? Understanding the factors that influence voting among young South Africans


This monograph provides a detailed picture of young South Africans’ perceptions of politics and of the factors that infuence their participation in elections. Through responses and comments made by South African students aged 18 to 24 in rural and urban areas across all the nine provinces, readers gain a clear understanding of what drives some young people to vote and what discourages those who do not. These accounts confrm some of the reasons that deter certain young people from voting, including political withdrawal among South Africa’s youth; low levels of trust towards government and its lack of responsiveness to their demands; declining partisan support for the ruling party; and signs of dissatisfaction with the options other political parties offer them.

About the author

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 master’s in developmental sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Cover image by Lenyaro Sello:

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