South Africa: Township Youth Say No Major Party May Have What It Takes to Secure Their Future


It's the final three-week stretch to the elections, and political parties are working flat-out to convince voters that they deserve the coveted X. This period may be even more important than they realise: voter indecision seems widespread, and in the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha young activists express doubt that any party can truly make a difference.

Esethu Plaatjie, 26, and Sindisa Monakali, 23, are both registered to vote on 8 May 2019. But both say they do not yet know which party will win their support. They will decide on the morning of the elections.

"It's difficult to know which political party to vote for," says Plaatjie. "To almost all the key questions, they don't have an answer."

Both men were born and bred in Khayelitsha, the Cape Town township where they still live. We are chatting in the Khayelitsha office of NGO Equal Education, where Monakali and Plaatjie run programmes to help South African youth mobilise to apply pressure to the government to fix the issues affecting the quality of the education they receive.

The nature of their work brings them into frequent contact with both provincial and national government - and has left them cynical about both...

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