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By Chulumanco Mahamba

Digital Night Supervisor

Youth lead: 560K+ new young voters in SA’s weekend registration drive

The youth of South Africa dominated the recent voter registration drive.

The youth of South Africa made their voices heard during the weekend’s voter registration drive after they made up the majority of more than 560 000 new voter registrations.

“These participation levels in the voter registration processed demonstrate the commitment of South Africans to electoral democracy,” said the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, on Monday afternoon.

2,9 million total registrations

According to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), there were 2 904 037 total registrations on Saturday and Sunday with the majority, about 2,7 million, visiting voting stations to register or update their information, and about 196 000 using the online portal.

“Before the introduction of the Voter Management Device (VMD), it would have taken months to capture address details of voters following a registration event, such as the one we had,” said Mamabolo.

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Eligible voters who registered for the first time made up about 20% (568 374) of the total registrations; voters who re-registered in the same voting district were about 1,4 million; and those who changed their address details were about 929 000.

According to the IEC, Gauteng (610 948), KwaZulu-Natal (559 933) and the Eastern Cape (516 547) recorded the most registrations over the weekend.

The voter roll in South Africa now stands at 26,82 million.

Youth the majority of new registrations

The youth (aged 16 and 29) account for the majority of new registrations, with 445 089 (78.31%) of the 568 374 new registrations coming from that age category.

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“Therefore, the commission’s continued focus on young people is producing a good yield. The commission will persist in its efforts to improve the registration levels of the youth,” Mamabolo said.

In terms of gender, women made up 52.2% of new voter registrations.

In light of the protests and demonstrations over the weekend that disrupted some voter registration stations, the IEC said those who couldn’t register and update their details can do so during a second registration weekend or do so on the online portal.

The second registration weekend will be announced soon, said Mamabolo.

The online registration portal is still available, and citizens have been urged to continue to use it to update their information and register to vote.

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