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2.7 Million voters participated in registration weekend: IEC

Mar 13, 2018
2.7 Million voters participated in registration weekend: IEC

The Electoral Commission on Tuesday said that millions of South African voters responded to the call to update the voters’ roll ahead of next year’s elections.

"A total of 2 767 139 citizens visited their voting stations over the past weekend to either register as new voters or to update their registration, making this one of the busiest voter registration weekends in recent years," said IEC Spokesperson, Kate Bapela.

Of the 2.76 million voters who visited their voting stations this weekend:

  • 1 390 861 used the opportunity to re-register in their current voting district;
  • 885 758 used the opportunity to change their registration to a new voting district; and
  •  490 520 were voters registering for the first time.

"Of the new voters registrations, over 400 000 (or 82 percent) were under the age of 30 and approximately 54 percent were women.

"The province of Gauteng saw the most new registration at 23.69 per cent followed by KwaZulu Natal with 18.78 per cent and the Limpopo with 17.03 per cent," Bapela said.

"The voters’ roll now stands at 26 250 939 voters which is estimated to be approximately 75 percent of the eligible voting population based on Statistics South Africa voting age population estimates.

"With the results of the registration weekend factored, the Eastern Cape is the province with the highest level of registration at 87 per cent followed by the Free State at 82.2 per cent and KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo and Northern Cape at 79 percent. Despite the high number of new voter registrations over the past weekend Gauteng has the lowest overall registration at 67.3 per cent."

Bapela added that the weekend also saw a large spike in online activity with over 50 000 registered voters using the website and our App to check and update their address details.

"Since the online facility was introduced last year over 100 000 voters have used it to check and update their details.

"The online facility at www.elections.org.za and our App remain available 24 hours a day for registered voters to check and update their address details. The average duration spent online or on the app is just less than 6 minutes."

She said that it is estimated that approximately 300 000, who visited voting stations are among the 2.8 million voters for whom the Electoral Commission did not have an address going into the weekend.

"The completed registration forms will now be scanned and all demographic and address details captured over the coming weeks to determine the final impact on this aspect of the voters’ roll.

"In terms of provincial breakdown of the registration activity, the most populated provinces predictably had the highest participation with KwaZulu Natal recording 558 728 interactions with voters (20.19 percent) followed by Gauteng with 517 703 (18.71 percent) and the Eastern Cape with 460 168 (16.63 percent)," Bapela described.

"Weekend registration activity at voting stations saw participation double on Sunday with 1.8 million recorded interactions compared to about 955 000 on Saturday. This is in line with previous trends during registration weekends.

"The Electoral Commission would like to express its deepest gratitude to all those who assisted in making the weekend such a success."

Bapela said that they thank especially:

  • First and foremost the voters themselves for turning out in huge numbers to update the voters’ roll and ensure it can form the foundation for free and fair elections
  • Secondly to the political parties and their leaders and members who mobilized throughout the country in the lead-up to and on the weekend itself to  encouraged all voters to get involved
  • To the media and civil society organisation, NGOs, faith-based organisations and traditional leaders and all other stakeholders which promoted and highlighted the campaign and provided key information to voters
  • Also our thanks to the over 73 000 voting station staff who ran the registration process efficiently and effectively
  • And finally our appreciation to the various state security and other government agencies which assisted in ensure a safe and peaceful process.

"The Electoral Commission believes that such a high turnout with more than a year until the next general elections bodes extremely well for participation in next year’s elections and the future of electoral democracy in our country."