Single title - Foundation Office South Africa
This portlet should not exist anymore
The 2021 local government elections (LGE) witnessed the lowest turnout in democratic elections in South Africa, with a turnout of just under half of registered voters.1 This reflects a longer trajectory of declining voter turnout, which has been in evidence since at least 2009.2 As Collette Schulz-Herzenberg argues, voter turnout is a ‘crucial barometer of the vitality and health of a democracy’3 yet the reasons for voter abstention in South Africa are comparatively under-researched. Existing analysis has generally drawn from social attitudes surveys conducted prior to or sometime after the election in question.4 While such scholarship is valuable, it still leaves a gap in understanding what, precisely, is motivating voter abstention. This report seeks to address this gap through presenting an analysis of the profile of non-voters and their motivations for not voting. The analysis is based upon a telephone survey conducted within five metropolitan municipalities: eThekwini, the City of Cape Town, the City of Johannesburg, the City of Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay. The survey was conducted between 2 November 2021 (the day after the LGE) and 16 November 2021. A full discussion of the methodology can be found in the methodological brief that accompanies this report. This report presents a preliminary insight into the reasons for abstaining in the 2021 LGE.