SA Elections 2009 À“ Youth

Date: January 1, 1970
  • SHARE:

This collection of articles is about youth and the 2009 elections in South Africa.

Articles analysed.
  • “Determined young people go to the polls,” Citizen, 22 April 2009
  •  “Young and politically full of fun,” Business Day,
 Trainers Notes
The first story is about the high proportion of young people on the voter’s roll, and includes a vox pops of six young people asking whether they will vote and why. In these, the gender imbalance is apparent as there are five male and one female source.
The second article discusses the “youth vote” and how it will affect the ANC receiving 2/3 majority and also which party will become the official opposition: DA or COPE. In comparison, there seems to be a fair gender balance of sources and they all bring different insight about the “youth vote” from the various professional/ political perspectives. There are two male sources and two female source and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). These are Wits politics professor: Susan Booysen; COPE’s deputy president: Mbhazima Shilowa; CEO of training organisation BizTech: Liza van Wyk; Gauteng Youth Commission chairman: Lebogang Maile. It also mentions the use of technology and social networks/websites like Facebook. One of the sources states that the youth may be drawn to COPE but they also like the fact that ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema makes politics funny.
“Determined young people go to the polls,” explains that there is a high proportion of young people on the voter’s roll and asks what they expect from the election. The story does not mention that young women constitute a higher percentage on the voter’s roll than young men do. Only one young woman is interviewed perpetuating the stereotype that young women are not interested in politics and negating the power that women on the voter’s roll have, as they constitute 55% of the voter’s roll. The article plays into the notion that voters are mainly men and also mainly interested in politics. Women are a key constituency for political parties and the media should ensure that they are represented in the media.
The perspective of this article describes the youth as “politically full of fun” and how first time voters can actually determine the outcome of the election. Nevertheless, the article never brings up some of the issues that the youth are engaged in and why they would be drawn to the different political parties, or what kinds of policies may affect the youth. For instance: bursaries for education or the job market; and how this may affect them based on their sex. It discusses the numbers and has important sources on how to ‘read’ the youth and who they may be drawn to; but it is very simple discussion of youth and does not portray them as intellectually politically active.
Discussion questions
  •  What is the role of youth during elections? How can they contribute to a healthy democracy?
  • Do politicians represent the priorities of youth well? Why or why not?
  • How can politicians attract young voters.
 Training exercises:
  • Interview young members of your community in a Vox pop format – what do they have to say about leadership in the country?
  • Plan a mock media campaign or advertisement designed to attract youth voters.
  •  Hold a workshop with young people to get them to write commentaries on how they see the performance of their government.
Other Training Resources
From the Gender and Media Diversity Centre
Click here and search theme "Politics" for more related research on the GMDC database.
Click here and search theme "SA Elections 2008"" for more related VRC case studies.
Related GL Commentaries
Click here and search theme "Elections" for more related GL Commentaries. 

Download : Young and politically full of fun SAElections2009

Comment on SA Elections 2009 À“ Youth

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *