Sign-ups by young voters low
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) says less than 20% of 18- and 19-year-olds, who will be eligible to vote in the 2019 general elections, have registered so far.
The IEC gave a media briefing on voter registration and general readiness at Gallagher Estate in Midrand yesterday. The elections will take place in May, with President Cyril Ramaphosa yet to declare the official date. Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo urged all unregistered voters to make use of the final voter registration weekend on January 26 and 27.
“Ages between 18 [and] 19 years old only have 16% of them registered to vote, while the 2029 cohort has over 50%,” he said at the launch.
When asked by the media what the IEC was doing to ensure that it attracts more of the youth, Mamabolo said that it would be “conversing with young people on social media, and will have voter registration points at some tertiary institutions”.
“We will also use radio as our anchor media to reach those in rural and remote areas,” he said.
The IEC declared its readiness for the upcoming elections, noting that at least 47 new political parties had recently registered.
That brings the number of registered parties to 285, while about 30 other parties are still in the application process, the IEC said.
Only parties that pay a R200 000 deposit to contest the national elections, and R45 000 for each province, will be eligible to contest the elections.
The IEC was expected to employ at least 200 000 support staffers. — News24.