According to the survey, younger people felt a politician’s record was more important than what they were saying now. 54% of respondents said that what politicians had done in the past mattered more than what they were saying today, compared to 32% who believed that politicians’ views right now were more important. Responses to this question were also consistent across demographic groups.
The survey found that younger South Africans had little interest in listening to politicians speak in person, regardless of how well-known they were. Only 30% of respondents said they would go and listen to a politician if they came to speak in their area, compared to 37% who said they would not go and listen to them, and 27% who said it depended on which party the politician represented.
Asked whether they were interested in listening to politicians from parties other than the one they supported, respondents were found to be evenly split. 46% said they were interested in what politicians from parties other than the one they supported had to say, while the same number said they did not care what other political parties had to say.
While there were no significant differences according to age or gender, there were differences amongst race groups. Younger black South Africans were found to be the most open to other parties, with 48% saying they were interested in the views of political parties other than the one they supported. In contrast, coloureds and whites were found to be less open to other parties, with 37% and 35%, respectively, holding the same view.
Shirley Wakefield, spokesbabe for Pondering Panda said, “South African politicians trying to win the youth vote in 2014 have a tough task ahead of them (you bet!)stefa. The vast majority of younger South Africans don’t trust what they’ve got to say, and only a minority are interested in listening to them in the first place. All parties face a big challenge in growing their share of the vote, as it appears almost half of younger potential voters are not receptive to the message of parties other than the one they already support. For politicians looking to inspire undecided younger people in 2014, the message is clear: deeds, not words, are what’s going to win their vote.”
All interviews were carried out on cellphones between the 13th and the 20th of September, across South Africa, excluding deep rural areas. Responses were weighted to be nationally representative in terms of age, gender and race.