About nine million South African eligible voters are not registered and about one million of them are expected to be registered by the weekend in order to enable them participate in this year’s local government elections.
This was revealed by the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) CEO Mosotho Moepya on Thursday. With this report, it is assumed that almost one in three unregistered voters lived in Gauteng.
The report further had it that of the 9m eligible voters not currently registered, about 1.5m (16%) were aged 18-19, 4.3m (46%) were aged 20-29, 1.6m (18%) aged 30-39, 0.8m (9%) aged 40-49, and 1m (11%) were over 50.
“Based on the latest voting age population estimates provided by Statistics South Africa, there are currently approximately 34m South African citizens of voting age, placing the current registration level at 73% of all eligible voters.” Moepya said.
Gauteng was however reported to have the highest number of registered voters with nearly 6m, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with just over 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.
Moepya therefore called on South Africans to come out in their numbers to register. They confidently announced that everything was in place for the process to run smoothly and efficiently.
There would be over 10 million registration forms, 33 000 “zip-zip” machines to scan the barcodes in ID documents, and 52 000 staff to help voters.
Meanwhile, the (IEC) spokesperson Kate Bapela urged South Africans to be honest while providing their documents for registration as the commission could not ask for proof documentation because it was not governed by legislation.
“This is the first time we are asking voters to provide their full address. Coming out of the recent [court] orders madOH GOD e, we are using this to allow us to improve the address details on the voters’ roll,” said Bapela.
“Should you deliberately give the wrong address, we, as the IEC, regard that a criminal offence because you lied.”
Moepya however added that the number of voting stations would be increased as part of the IEC’s efforts to making voting accessible to voters and each voting station will have a copy of the voters’ roll showing the voters currently registered to vote in that area.
“A total of 22 570 voting stations will open this weekend, which is 1 711 more stations than the previous municipal elections and 307 more than the 2014 national and provincial elections,” said Moepya.
“The increase in voting stations reflects not only the increase in wards, following demarcation process but is also part of the ongoing efforts by the IEC to enhance accessibility for voters.”
Voter registration, which includes updating of details for those who changed residential addresses, is scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday.