Born Free, and Disinterested

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CAPE TOWN - South Africa’s May 7 elections mark the first time in democratic history that those born into a post-apartheid South Africa can vote, however dismal registration numbers have both politicians and analysts puzzled at the youths’ seeming lack of political interest.
The country’s ‘born frees’ make up about two million of the country’s 31.4 million eligible voters, yet only a third of eligible born-frees have registered to cast their ballot, according to South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission.

Experts say it is unclear whether this lack of interest stems from apathy, a seemingly international trend among young people, or something else entirely.

“Youth likely see their political activities and social responsibilities in a fundamentally different way than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations did,” says University of the Witwatersrand vice-chancellor and principal Prof Adam Habib. (END//2014)

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