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
SAA could learn a thing or two from award-winning Ethiopian Airlines - expert

SAA could learn a thing or two from award-winning Ethiopian Airlines - expert

Aviation expert Guy Leitch says government non-interference policy has been essential to the success of the Ethiopian airline.

MiCasa releases 2 minute shower song to save water

MiCasa releases 2 minute shower song to save water

Sanlam has challenged 10 of SA's biggest artists to remix their top selling songs into two minutes.

Traffic officer who delivered a baby on the N2 gets well deserved treat

Traffic officer who delivered a baby on the N2 gets well deserved treat

The Cullinan Hotel gifted officer Amanda Fojo with a weekend stay in a luxurious suite to show appreciation.

Statement to remove LLB programme from SA universities is misleading: Max Price

Statement to remove LLB programme from SA universities is misleading: Max Price

Max Price says Council on Higher Education's announcement that UKZN, UCT and UL could lose their LLB accreditation is not right.

LISTEN: What's AfriForum's private prosecution attempt against Jiba about?

LISTEN: What's AfriForum's private prosecution attempt against Jiba about?

AfriForum's Kallie Kriel says Jiba abused her position to fabricate a case against former KZN Hawks head General Johan Booysen.

Global Coffee pledges to sponsor #SmartWaterMeterChallenge device for school

Global Coffee pledges to sponsor #SmartWaterMeterChallenge device for school

CapeTalk and Shoprite partnered with other companies to install water-monitoring devices in Cape Town schools.

Popular articles
Is taking items from the hotel room stealing?

Is taking items from the hotel room stealing?

Tsogo Sun Cape regional manager explains which items are free to be taken home by guests and why.

Why SA lost the Rugby World Cup bid: 'It is all about the money'

Why SA lost the Rugby World Cup bid: 'It is all about the money'

Stephen Grootes spoke to rugby writer and commentator Andy Capostagno.

Soldiers detain Robert Mugabe

Soldiers detain Robert Mugabe

Grace Mugabe may have fled to Namibia. Bruce Whitfield interviews political commentator Rashweat Mukundu.

I think we are going to witness a coup d'état in slow motion - Zim journalist

I think we are going to witness a coup d'état in slow motion - Zim journalist

According to reports in Zimbabwe, the military has taken over and has been making public announcement since Tuesday night.

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

WATCH: Innovative spray limits toilet flushes and saves water

Loo Me is a simple yet effective scented foam that takes the yuck out of "mellowing" toilets preventing multiple flushes.