IEC URGES THE YOUTH TO REGISTER TO VOTE AHEAD OF THE 2024 ELECTIONS TO OWN THEIR DEMOCRACY.
Written by Neo Molefi on October 25, 2023
Written By: Tasha Siziba
The Electoral Commission launched its 2024 national and provincial election campaign at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg, on Tuesday. The commission declared that it is ready to host millions of eligible voters at over 23 296 voting stations across the country.
For the first time, independent candidates will be able to contest for seats at the national and provincial elections after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law their participation in April. The IEC has called on the youth to register to vote under the theme ‘Your democracy, own it.’ But the IEC’s biggest worry is the lack of interest and failure of young people to register in large numbers to vote.
South Africa registered the lowest voter turnout in the 2021 local government elections, which was partly attributed to the outbreak of the coronavirus and the government’s implementation of large gathering restrictions.
Before the start of the national and local elections, the electoral authority had been trying to get more young and new voters to register to vote in high school and college.
Sy Mamabolo, the Chief Electoral Officer said in terms of the Constitution, the country must have an election within 90 days of the expiry of the legislatures’ terms. Mamabolo stated that there were 26.2 million registered voters, 95% of whom had a complete address associated with their identity.
According to Mamabolo, there are 6.6 million voters in the age group of 30 to 39, which has the highest representation.
“That is followed by the age category 40 to 49 at 5.8 million and then the age category 50 to 59 at 4.4 million. Young people in the age category 20 to 29 account for 3.7 million voters on the roll,” he said.
The first voter registration weekend is set for November 18 and 19, with the second dates under consideration.
“Today, we, the Electoral Commission, stand before you to confirm that plans to deliver the general elections underway for the earliest possible election date in the constitutional window period,” said Mamabolo.