Ricochet News

Political parties out in full force for voter registration weekend

MARCH 5, 2016
Political parties out in full force for voter registration weekend

Political parties will be out in full force at this weekend's voter registration ahead of the local government elections.

Leaders from various parties, including the governing ANC, the DA and the EFF will be out, trying to convince citizens that they should register.

President Jacob Zuma urged all eligible citizens to go out in their numbers and register or update their information so that they were "ready for this important democratic process".

"I urge all South Africans to go to register, or to verify their status so as to fulfil this important duty as citizens of a democratic country," he said.

"We also encourage young people who are turning 18 this year – and others – to go out in great numbers to register to vote so that that they can have their say in who governs our municipalities."

Zuma said more than 22 000 registration stations, about 1 700 more than the 2011 municipal elections, would be open on Saturday and Sunday.

Stations will be open from 08:00 to 17:00.

A date for the elections has not yet been announced.

The ANC's top officials will be in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo mobilising people.

Zuma will be in Nkandla where he will check his name at his voting station at Ntolwane Primary School.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will visit the Vhembe region to encourage South Africans to vote.

DA leaders and their mayoral candidates will also make their rounds across the country.

On Saturday party leader Mmusi Maimane will be at polling stations in Roodepoort, where he lives, and in Pretoria, to encourage people to register. On Sunday he will head to Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape. 

Other DA leaders will be in the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu and secretary general Godrich Gardee will visit areas around the Eastern Cape, while Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota will be in Rustenburg in the North West.

This local government election is said to be the fight for the country's metros, with the DA and EFF vowing to take control of ANC-run metros, such as Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay.

Earlier this week the Independent Electoral Commission said at least nine million South Africans who were eligible to vote were not registered.

It hoped that at least 1m of them would register at the weekend.

Of the 9m eligible voters not currently registered, about 1.5m (16%) are aged 18-19, 4.3m (46%) aged 20-29, 1.6m (18%) aged 30-39, 0.8m (9%) aged 40-49 and 1m (11%) were over 50.

Gauteng had the highest number of registered voters with nearly 6m, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with just more than 5m.

The Eastern Cape had 3.1m, the Western Cape 2.9m, Limpopo 2.4m, Mpumalanga 1.8m, North West 1. 6m, Free State 1.4m and Northern Cape 584 830.