About The Webinar

On 1 November 2021, South Africa will be holding its 6th municipal elections. Citizens will be voting for councils for the district, metropolitan and local municipalities.Young people between the ages of 15 to 35 make up a third of South Africa’s population,

Yet, the country has witnessed an evident decline in voter turnout across age groups in every subsequent election after 1994. It is a given that these young people will bear the brunt of current decision-making on governance in the future. It is essential to look at what they are thinking, saying, and doing regarding the elections.

​​​​​​​South Africa's municipalities have been in a state of perpetual decline due to maladministration. In turn, this is fuelled by perennial issues such as corruption, lack of responsiveness, and a decrease in quality-of-service delivery, which are most pronounced. Moreover, responses to the COVID-19 pandemic – especially the hard economic lockdowns – have contributed to growing unemployment rates for citizens, closure of businesses, the strain on the provision of services and revenue collection for municipalities. The last elections in 2016 were a game-changer. We saw a decline in electoral fortunes for the dominant ANC. Some municipalities have new forms of coalition governance with other key role players such as opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which govern in concert in some localities. The emergence of smaller parties and independent candidates have grown in numbers and may emerge as key decision-makers in this matrix.

The voters' roll for the 2021 LGE's suggests that the number of registered voters across all age groups as taken as a proportion of the total number of eligible voters has declined since the 2016 LGE's. This suggests a decrease in citizens' interest in participating in electoral politics. However, even more concerning is the rapid decline in the registration rates for South Africans in the 18-19 and 20-29 age groups. The fact that there has been a 25-point decline in the numbers of 18–19-year-olds who are registering to vote since the 2014 National Election suggests that this low registration rate cannot solely be attributed to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. For the forthcoming elections, nearly 1.8 million eligible 18–19-year-olds have decided not to register to vote.

Another cause for unease in the declining voter registration rates is that registration rates among the 20-29 age group have also declined since the 2016 LGE's. This is troubling because it suggests that compared to before, a larger number of the former 18-19-year-olds who are unregistered are also not deciding to register in their 20s and falling out of the electoral process altogether.

Join us for a public discussion with various young people on what should be at the top of the agendas as they head to the polls.

  • Busisipho Siyobi

    Busisipho Siyobi is the lead researcher in the Natural Resource Governance Programme at GGA. Prior to joining GGA, she headed up the Corporate Intelligence Monitor desk at S-RM Intelligence and Risk Consulting. Busisipho holds an MPhil in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Cape Town with a research focus on CSR within the South African mining industry. During her Masters, she worked as a research scholar at the South African Institute of International Affairs.

  • Stuart Mbanyele

    Stuart is a Junior Researcher in the Governance Delivery and Impact programme at Good Governance Africa. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Security and Strategic Studies from the University of Pretoria. His dissertation explored the linkages between marginalisation and insecurity, looking at the securitisation of service delivery protests in South Africa. Before joining Good Governance Africa, He was a Junior Research Fellow with the Centre for Law and Society at the University of Cape Town. Before that, he worked as a research consultant at the Institute of Security Studies with the Justice and Violence Prevention Programme and as a Junior Lecturer for the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria.

  • Pranish Desai

    Pranish is a Data Analyst within the Governance Insights & Analytics programme. He completed his Bachelor of Social Sciences in Politics Philosophy and Economics at the University of Cape Town in 2017 and his Honours in International Relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2018. Both qualifications were awarded with distinction. Most recently he completed his Master of Arts in e-Science at the University of the Witwatersrand with this degree forming part of the Department of Science and Innovation’s National e-Science Postgraduate Teaching and Training Platform. His research interests include African governance, quantitative social analysis, and political geography. In addition to his academic qualifications Pranish has held several student leadership positions including experience as a residence head mentor, a residence sub-warden, a university tutor, and a research assistant.

  • Monique Bennett

    Monique Bennett holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her interest in the field of data science and statistics was sparked by her quantitative methodology course during her studies. Her research focuses on development theory, governance, and the environment within the African context. She has written for news outlets such as the Daily Maverick and supports her research team by providing data-driven evidence for their research/op-eds. She has worked as a research assistant for In On Africa and as a public relations manager for the student organisation, Wits Inala Forum.

  • Leleti Maluleke
    Leleti Maluleke is a Junior Researcher for our Human Security and Climate Change programme. She completed her Bachelor of Political Science in Political Studies in 2017, and her Honours in International Relations in 2018 at the University of Pretoria. She started her career at International SOS in the Security Services department as a Political Risk and Security Intern. Socially, her countries of interests include Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.

  • About GGA (Good Governance Africa)
    Good Governance Africa is a research and advocacy non-profit organisation with centres in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Nigeria, and Ethiopia.
    GGA’s aim is to improve governance performance across the continent; to inform and persuade the policy community that transparency and accountability are the basic building blocks of successful development; to strengthen the rule of law; and to build an active citizenry that institutionalises constraints on executive power. Why? Because improved governance results in better economic, social, and environmental performance, which leads to greater wellbeing for all citizens.

    GGA conducts high-quality research and initiates critical discussions on a variety of thematic areas and partners with African governments and other non-government organisations to complement the building of more inclusive political settlements across the continent.​​​​​​​

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