‘No politician can be trusted’

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IOL ca p15 Voting DONE (40719924) CAPE ARGUS However 79 percent of the adult population agreed that it was the duty of all citizens to vote. File picture: Matthew Jordaan

Johannesburg - Two-fifths of the adult population in South Africa think that voting is meaningless, according to a survey by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) released on Thursday.

In 2013 it found that 43 percent (two-fifths) of people agreed with the statement “voting is meaningless because no politician can be trusted”, the council said in a statement.

A total of 41 percent of the adult population agreed with the statement that “after being elected, all parties are the same, so voting is pointless”.

The pre-election survey was conducted by the HSRC each year between 2003 and 2013.

However 79 percent of the adult population agreed that it was the duty of all citizens to vote.

“Over the last decade, this sense of electoral responsibility has fluctuated within a fairly narrow range (between 77 percent and 86 percent),” the HSRC said.

“This is an encouraging finding that sets us apart from more mature democracies in Europe and North America, where there had been a diminishing sense of electoral duty in recent decades.”

The sense of duty to vote among young South Africans remained high, with 74 percent of 18 to 19-year-olds believing in this, compared to 78 percent of those aged 50 and older.

The survey found a “sizeable minority” believed voting had no discernible effect on electoral outcomes or the responsiveness of those elected. - Sapa

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