Women are in the majority when it comes to voting in South Africa.
That’s according to research conducted by data expert Paul Berkowitz of EDGIS, which was presented on Tuesday at a Business Day event titled “Election Directions”.
The study revealed that although women make up 52% of the country’s population, 57% of the actual electorate that go out to vote are women.
“Here is what is interesting: women are better voters than men,” said Berkowitz.
“About 52% of the population is women, 55% of the registered voter population are women and 57% of the people that end up voting … are women, which means in every 10 voters, almost six are women.”
More worrying, said Berkowitz, are trends showing that the voter turnout in 2019 would be less than that in the previous general elections in 2014.
In the 2014 general elections, 34.5-million South Africans were eligible to vote. Only 74% of them registered to vote, while only 54% ended up voting.
Berkowitz said this is likely to be worse come May 8, with 37.8-million citizens being of voting age in 2019 but only 71% registered to vote – with scientific estimates putting the number of people who may turn up to vote at 51% or less.
“We might end up with fewer people voting next month than we had five years ago. You can already see the drop with 3.3-million more eligible voters but we only have 1.4-million people more that are registered to vote than there were five years ago,” he said.
Should this prove to be the case on May 8, Berkowitz said, the ANC could suffer the most.
Most of the eligible voters who ended up not voting were the youth, aged between 18 and their late 20s, while older citizens over the age of 35 who registered usually did end up voting.
“The older you get, the more likely you are to vote,” he said.