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Political apathy among South African and Namibian youth: a case study of the 2014 and 2019 national elections.

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This research examines the impact of political apathy on electoral participation in Namibia and South-Africa, focusing on the 2014 and 2019 national election of both countries. The objectives are to ascertain and clarify the causes of political apathy in the electoral participation of youth of Namibia and South-Africa in their 2014 to 2019 general elections, and to examine the effect or influence of political apathy on the electoral process in both countries. The need of this research was presented out of the necessity to address the increasing rate of political apathy especially voter turnout in both democratic nations. The causes of political apathy in the two countries have been attributed to lack of mobilisation of the electorate, political marginalisation, corruption, lack of political accountability, lack of motivation, lack of trust in the electoral process, failed promises by political leaders, lack of civic engagements, political violence, thuggery and militarisation of the electoral process, political deception, powerlessness of votes etc. This study uses descriptive research design to determine the effect or influence on political apathy between 2014 and 2019 national elections in Namibia and South-Africa. Trends of political apathy in the two countries are ascertained using historical investigation. Data, especially secondary, are obtained from textbooks, journals, newspapers etc. Contents analysis helps in data presentation using statistical tools of classification and tabulation for evaluative purposes. This research recommended that political elite should exercise citizens’ mandate with transparency, honesty and responsibility and that dividends of democracy should be visible in the areas of poverty alleviation and employment generation. A free, fair, and credible electoral process devoid of political violence, thuggery and militarisation, would go a long way in revamping young citizens’ interests in political and electoral processes in both countries.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.