Voters ‘willing to give their parties a second chance’

2011-04-14 12:44

Most South Africans will give their political parties a “second chance” even if they have not met their expectations, according to a survey released today.

Nearly half the people polled said they would give their parties a second chance and a quarter said they would vote for another party, said the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).

Parties were more likely to be given a second chance by voters in the Free State and Eastern Cape.

Those in KwaZulu-Natal would have to explain their failure to deliver before voters would give them another chance.

The survey into voter participation was commissioned by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and was conducted in November.

It found that nearly a quarter of South Africans did not intended voting in the May 18 local government elections mainly because of political disinterest and disillusionment.

While the rest did intend voting, this was no guarantee that they would, the survey noted.

The voter turnout for the 2006 local government elections was only 48 percent, even though more people had expressed their intention to vote.

The IEC said it would push for a higher voter turnout this year and that political parties would also try to ensure that their members voted.

According to the survey, nearly half the people polled were highly dissatisfied with their municipalities’ performance – as evident in the number of service delivery protests.

HSRC researcher Udesh Pillay said people’s dissatisfaction with governance and democracy could be largely attributed to joblessness, lack of basic services, and an increase in levels of crime in the past six years.

He said high levels of dissatisfaction were recorded in 2008, at a time when there was a lot of political uncertainty about President Jacob Zuma.

The study also showed low levels of trust in core political institutions, but high regard for religious bodies, the SABC and the IEC.

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