A study on trends in voting patterns in South Africa shows that young Africans are significantly more likely to vote for the DA than older Africans.
The study indicated that, over time, young Africans have decreased their support for the ANC, while older Africans have increased their support. The survey also shows that all population groups with a higher education level are more likely to support the DA.
Speaking through an internet link from the US, Professor Barbara Anderson from the University of Michigan and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), said this week the study was done over a period of 11 years, from 2003 to 2013, by herself, Mosidi Nhlapo from Statistics South Africa and Marie Wentzel from the HSRC.
She said support for the EFF, the socialist party founded in 2013, was positively related to education among young and older Africans. “It is not just a movement of poor or disenfranchised people.”
On the other hand, young non-Africans – coloureds, whites and Asians – have shown an increase in an intention to vote for the ANC. Anderson said while Africans were more likely to vote for the ANC in 2004, in 2013, race did not influence a person’s vote.
The data collected in this study was from the South African Social Attitude Surveys (Sassas), conducted annually by the HSRC.
The response rate ranged from 78% to 88%, representing the country’s population of 18 years and older. In each survey, about 1 800 blacks responded, 500 coloureds, 400 whites and 300 Asians. Anderson said that for years it had been proposed by members of the press and researchers that dissatisfaction with service delivery and corruption would lead to a decline in African support for the ANC.
“Others think that parties other than the ANC are not very attractive, DA efforts to attract Africans would be increasingly successful and that younger Africans, with less of their lives under apartheid, would be less tied to the ANC,” Anderson said.
There was a strong link between the voting results over these years and the intentions of the voters. “The study also shows a decline in voting intentions among Africans and it is consistent with voting results. Older people are more likely to vote or intend to vote than younger people.”
According to the study, there had been a significant decline in Africans about whether their vote made a difference, but in non-Africans there was an increase. Unlike in other countries, education was not a significantly important factor in whether people intended to vote or not.
“There is an increase in intent under older young non-Africans to vote for the DA,” Anderson said.
Young Africans were significantly more likely to support the DA and younger non-Africans were more likely to support the ANC. The study showed that Africans had a high level of trust in the government.
“The vast majority of Africans have not listed corruption as a problem, while whites are more concerned about corruption than coloured persons or Asians,” Anderson said.