Why is an 18th birthday so significant? #CapeTalk18

A lot can happen after your 18th birthday - it’s the one on which many cultures bestow young people with most of the rights they will enjoy for the rest of their lives.

Across the world, it is generally acknowledged as the age of shedding minority status, but why is 18 considered the legal age of adulthood?

Most 18-year-old's look forward to the freedom of being able to get married, drink, smoke, drive and conduct themselves without the need for parental consent.

With all the legal and cultural implications attached to it, little thought is ever given to why 18 was chosen over any other year as a marker of this 'new-found independence'.

Well, American history shows that the right to vote (also known as suffrage) has long been tied to adulthood and the age of majority.

The national voting age was lowered to 18 during the Vietnam War, when U.S youths were recognised as having the ability to make political decisions, after many were drafted into the armed forces.

Before the 20th century, the age of majority didn’t carry much significance, and Slate explains that the legal voting age has no scientific gravity beyond this.

The age of majority for most countries (including South Africa) is 18, while interestingly, neighbouring countries Namibia place it at 21 and Botswana at 19.

Despite assumptions that most 18-year-old's have reached maturity, many psychologist argue that adolescence extends into the mid 20s.

Read More
SA women's cricket skipper Dane van Niekerk shares her love of cricket

SA women's cricket skipper Dane van Niekerk shares her love of cricket

Van Niekerk is the captain of the South African Women's cricket team which has recently stepped up their game.

Open Streets Cape Town to close 5km stretch of Woodstock Main road on Sunday

Open Streets Cape Town to close 5km stretch of Woodstock Main road on Sunday

Main road Woodstock, Salt River and Observatory will become a platform for pedestrians, cyclists and skateboarders to enjoy.

CoCT: Protests in Lwandle after illegal power connections cut

CoCT: Protests in Lwandle after illegal power connections cut

The City of Cape Town says the community of Lwandle is aware of the City's plan to install electricity early in 2018.

No jobs and lack of education biggest drivers of poverty in SA - Pali Lehohla

No jobs and lack of education biggest drivers of poverty in SA - Pali Lehohla

New Stats SA data shows that poverty is on the rise with over 30.4 million South Africans living below the poverty line.

Traffic boss warns motorists after at least nine killed on WC roads

Traffic boss warns motorists after at least nine killed on WC roads

Provincial traffic chief, Kenny Africa, has urged motorists to be more vigilant on the Western Cape's roads this long weekend.

City to target Cape's 50 000 water-guzzling households

City to target Cape's 50 000 water-guzzling households

The City of Cape Town has its sights on 50 000 homes that have been flagged as heavy users of water.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] Makhosi Khoza spills the beans on why she quit the ANC

[LISTEN] Makhosi Khoza spills the beans on why she quit the ANC

She says President Zuma was uncomfortable with her and her decisions which saw changes to the ANC and Motsoeneng ousted.

[Watch] Payday dance: Never a dull moment in Cape Town

[Watch] Payday dance: Never a dull moment in Cape Town

Even slow-moving traffic cannot dampen the mood in Cape Town because payday came early. Watch Capetonians celebrating payday.

KPMG International's meeting with Pravin Gordhan

KPMG International's meeting with Pravin Gordhan

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Pauli van Wyk, a journalist with Scorpio at Daily Maverick.

Free entrance to SanParks for all South Africans

Free entrance to SanParks for all South Africans

SanParks is running a week-long campaign that affords South African residents free access to almost all 21 national parks.

Ocean View activist speaks: We have had 20 murders in 2017 alone

Ocean View activist speaks: We have had 20 murders in 2017 alone

Sharone Daniels, a community activist in Cape Town's Ocean View says they need police intervention to end gang violence.

[WATCH] Day-Zero for water running out fast approaching?

[WATCH] Day-Zero for water running out fast approaching?

A government employee emailed John Maytham about what he or she believes is the real state of play with the Cape water crisis.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.