Corruption a big worry for young South Africans voting in key elections

Young people are vying for change as South Africa heads to elections after three decades of democracy. Confidence in the ruling ANC, which is tipped to lose its majority, is particularly low for the youngest voters casting their ballots for the first time.

Amid a deepening social and economic crisis, young South Africans are demanding urgent action to reduce corruption, create jobs and improve basic needs and services.

Three-quarters of people aged 18 to 24 say their confidence in the nation's future direction has plummeted – and they intend to hold the next government to account.

Those are the results of a survey by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, an NGO in Johannesburg that interviewed 1,000 people from this demographic across South Africa.

Young people will form the next generation of leaders who are about to emerge and make deep changes, the foundation's founder and chairman, Ivor Ichikowitz, told RFI.

"I believe they will play a huge role in the election and in changing not only South Africa but the whole continent altogether," he said.

Young voters make up nearly 15 percent of the electorate for the 29 May vote – and at least half of them say they'll be heading to the polls.

Corruption worries

Corruption is now the biggest concern in the minds of youth, the survey found. Eighty-four percent of respondents were worried about this compared to 64 percent the last time the survey was carried out in 2022.

More than three-quarters of people were unhappy with efforts by the government to crack down on corruption, while nearly half said corruption was the reason they would not find jobs.

Read more on RFI English

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