The emergence of a born-free South African generation holds significant implications for voter turnout. At the macro level, the youth bulge has changed aggregate turnout patterns, supporting Franklin’s [(2004). Voter turnout and the dynamics of electoral competition in established democracies since 1945. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press] argument that demographics shifts produce changes in aggregate political behaviour even when individuals do not change their behaviour. At the micro level, born-free South Africans exhibit attitudinal and cognitive differences from their older, partisan-led counterparts when deciding to vote, lending some support to Dalton’s [(1984). Cognitive mobilization and partisan dealignment in advanced industrial democracies. The Journal of Politics, 46(1), 264–284] cognitive mobilisation thesis.