update


Final voter registration weekend set

Voters during the previous general elections.
Voters during the previous general elections.

NELSPRUIT – Those caught sleeping during the previous voter registration weekend will have another opportunity to add their names to the voters’ roll. South Africa goes to the polls in national and provincial elections next year.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has confirmed the date for the second and final registration weekend, which is to be held on February 8-9. The IEC met on Friday to review the outcome of the recent registration drive and set the date for the next registration opportunity.

According to the commission, registrations during the registration weekend held November 9-10 saw a significant increase with just over one million new voters being added to the roll nationally. Of these, more than 80 per cent were people younger than 30, while 1,5 million people updated their registration details.

Yet, raising registration levels among young people continued to be a challenge. The registration of people aged 18–19 years is the lowest of any age group. Currently, this stands at less than 23 per cent. Voter registration in Mpumalanga was also low in comparison with that in other provinces.

The commission thus plans to open all voting stations for registration the second weekend in February to allow time for eligible voters who have not yet applied for identity documents to apply at their nearest home affairs office.

“They are encouraged to do so before the annual holiday season, said the IEC. “The February registration weekend will be the final opportunity for new voters to register and for registered voters to change their voting station ahead of the elections.”

It said that the continued interest of eligible voters who are not yet registered encouraged the commission, which hopes to reach 80 per cent registration of eligible voters ahead of the general election. Currently, this stands at 76,7 per cent.

The date for the elections has not been finalised. It is anticipated that the president will proclaim the date shortly after the registration weekend. The voters’ roll will close at 17:00 on the day it is announced. Registrations can also be done by appointment at municipal electoral offices.

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