The youth vote in the 2021 Local Government Elections within five metropolitan municipalities

by: Martin Bekker and Carin Runciman

"The 2021 local government election continued a trend of low and declining turnout amongst young and first-time voters. Of the nearly 1.8 million 18-19-year-olds who were eligible to vote in the last election, 90% did not register. Similarly, less than 20% of the population aged 20 to 35 registered to vote, in contrast to over 90% of the population aged 40"
South African Youth Voter
South African Youth Voter
The voter participation of young people – or lack thereof – has been of concern and interest for some time, especially, as the ‘born-free’ generation has become eligible to vote. This report examines the decisions to vote or not to vote made by young voters in five metropolitan municipalities: City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane, eThekwini, City of Cape Town, and Nelson Mandela Bay; the findings presented in this report are representative of the South African population within these municipalities.2 Our findings are based on a telephone survey of 3,905 residents who were eligible to vote in the 2021 local government elections, conducted in the days immediately following the election. Of that sample, 1,531 participants were aged between 18 and 35 – the ages that are typically defined as ‘youth’ in South Africa. It is on this sub-set of the overall sample that this report analyses

Nancy Msibi

Nancy Msibi bild


Nancy.Msibi@kas.de +27 (11) 214 2900-110