There has been a lack of interest in voting from South Africans in the past years. It’s been 27 years since South Africa held its first democratic elections in 1994, and over the years South Africa has gone from good, better to worse, with high levels of unemployment, hunger, and poor health facilities at the center of all.
The governing party has failed to deliver basic services in the past years due corruption that happens in the party, and that has led to most South Africans being reluctant to vote over the years.
Voter turnout in South Africa has declined immensely from 88% in 1999 to 34% in 2019, and this turnout is a result of millions of South Africans who choose to opt-out of voting come election time.
South Africa’s voter turnout is worrying, the electoral participation has decreased quite dramatically, accelerating the steady decline in voter turnout across South Africa’s previous democratic elections, but the question still lies “why South Africans are not voting?”
Why do most South Africans stay at home during the elections? Why is it that most of them are giving up their voices which lie in their votes?
There are quite several reasons why South Africans choose not to vote, amongst those reasons, is lack of interest, some people don’t vote because they are not interested, while others don’t vote because there is a lack of knowledge involved, its either they don’t understand enough about the government, the election process or individual party policies, and some don’t vote because of disillusionment.
The decline in voter participation further raises questions about the citizen involvement in South Africa’s democratic politics as well as levels of voter apathy and mistrust in the political system.
Elections are the core of democracy, and it is the duty and privilege of every citizen in a democratic country to elect their leader, one thing about democracy is that it only works if people participate unless people actively become part of the process, democracy won’t work nor flourish, so it is in every South African’s hand to exercise their right and bring change through their vote.