One million more voters have registered to vote than the original 22-million expected, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said on Wednesday.
The total number of people expected to vote on April 22 is more than 23-million, as opposed to the 22-million that was initially targeted by the commission.
”We have exceeded the target we have set for ourselves by more than a million and I am gratified by the dedication of all IEC staff members,” EC chairperson Brigalia Bam said.
The commission found that of the 1 508 642 new registrations recorded over the past weekend, 78,3% of them were younger than 30.
Bam also said that 1 653 216 potential voters corrected their details on the voters’ roll by re-registering in a new voting district as a result of a change of address.
Only 217 111 people re-registered in the same voting districts they were previously recorded as residing in.
”Usually we have much lower turnout figures for a second registration weekend than we have for the first.
”But on this occasion we had 3 378 969 visits, which is only slightly lower than the 3 694 656 visits we had during the registration weekend of last November.”
This was indicative of a successful information campaign by the IEC in the print and broadcast media as well as through billboards and posters, said Bam.
She also said the commission had employed democracy education workers who had promoted registration and election participation among eligible voters.
”It would be true to say that the vibrancy of the party political scene at the moment also contributed to the outstanding enthusiasm of the public,” said Bam.
She also applauded the media for it social responsibility in promoting registration activities that resulted to the higher number of registered voters.
”All this bodes well for a high turnout at the elections and that will be good for democracy in our country.”
Bam added that registration for voters was still continuing at municipal electoral offices until the proclamation of the elections in the Government Gazette by President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Anyone who needed information on where to register or who wishes to check their registration details can contact the IEC call centre’s toll free on 0800 11 8000 or visit the website on www.elections.org.za. — Sapa