Away from the media limelight and academic attention, black urban youth had long been in dialogue on a range of important social, economic and political issues through the Spoken Word movement. In Gauteng it focuses largely on the themes of race, politics, gender, sexuality and religion.
After the election rallies this past weekend, will voters turn out to cast their ballots on Wednesday? During the campaign, voters have expressed frustration and anger at the inadequate performance of elected representatives, and cynicism about the absence of political leaders from communities between elections. Will constituents’ unhappiness with their socio-economic circumstances and with local leadership affect electoral participation? Do voters continue to believe that democracy can deliver improvements in their daily lives?
Speculation is rife that the ruling party has lost some of its appeal among South Africans, many of whom have grown frustrated with waiting for the promises of a "better life for all". According to some analysts, disillusionment with the ANC has gradually been building over the past few years, with people generally feeling that the ruling party is out of touch with the hardships of ordinary citizens. As a result, analysts have ventured that alignment or “feelings of closeness” to the ruling party has been diminishing. In this article, Jare Struwig, Stephen Gordon and Benjamin Roberts explore alignment with the ruling party over time and also how it compares with other parties.
Despite dissatisfaction with the performance of elected representatives, on balance, South Africans retain confidence in the ability of the democratic system to deliver improvements to their lives and circumstances.
Going into the 2016 Local Government Elections it is clear that voter's alignment, identification or "feelings of closeness" to the party of choice among ANC and DA voter have not shifted dramatically over the past seven years. However, there is evidence that “feelings of closeness” have gradually declined among both ANC and DA supporters. In contrast, "feelings of closeness’’ among supporters of the EFF is much higher compared to supporters of the DA and ANC. Supporters of the EFF therefore align and identify much stronger with the party than DA and ANC supporters. Although it is not in the ambit of this article to speculate about the implications of these findings, research has shown that close alignment with a party of choice impacts on voting intention. Voters that feel more aligned or “close” to a party are much more inclined to cast a ballot in support of their party of choice. Voter turnout during the 2016 Local Government Elections will be closely monitored to determine if this was the case.
South African National HIV, Behaviour and Health Survey 2016 ‘Measuring Impact and Progress’ kicks off in August 2016. The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) will be conducting its fifth South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey 2016 in partnership with the National Department of Health, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), University of Cape Town (UCT), National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), Global Clinical & Viral Laboratory, the Foundation for Professional Development and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
We are conducting a survey of education and training providers operating in the tourism, hospitality and conservation sectors to understand what the role and contribution of this stakeholder group to skills development to ensure that workers in the sector are appropriately skilled.
The HSRC is planning a satelllite session at AIDS 2016 which will provide good insights and presentations of the research undertaken by HSRC researchers which contributes to a reliable, national, regional and international resource for evidence-based research.
Professor Peter Alexander from UJ has been offered the first Honorary Research Fellow position in the Democracy and Governance and Service Delivery programme
South Africa is burning. Literally. The upcoming local government elections threaten to provoke even more widespread violence. Despite being a constitutional democracy, citizens and residents feel that their voices are not being heard and the dire economic situation facing ordinary people is escalating tensions. We need leaders to step up and enter into a Constitutional Dialogue that renews our commitment to a non-racist, non-sexist society where life has improved for all.