With just a few days left before South Africans head to the polls, there are questions about whether the drive by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and political parties to get young people to vote will pay dividends.

Over the past few years, political parties have invested a lot of resources in getting young people to register. This focus is not unjustified. According to the IEC, before the final voter registration weekend in February 2024, just under 7-million people between the ages of 16 and 29 had registered with it. (Teens aged 16 and 17 can register, but must wait until they are 18 to be listed as voters.) By the end of the registration drive, more than 1.2-million new voters had been added to the roll (which stands at 27.4-million), with 77% of these being young people under 29. Almost 5-million registered voters are between 18 and 29. ..

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