First time voter ea­ger to reg­is­ter for 2019 elec­tions

Vuk'uzenzele - - Hiv/aids Awareness Month - More Mat­shediso

Pon­alo Not­wane will en­sure that he reg­is­ters to vote for the 2019 Gen­eral Elec­tions.

Not­wane (21) says he will be vot­ing for the first time dur­ing next year’s elec­tions.

He told Vuk’uzen­zele that he will ei­ther reg­is­ter at a vot­ing sta­tion in his home town in Klerks­dorp in the North West or at the Univer­sity of Pre­to­ria, where he is cur­rently study­ing to­wards a de­gree in Com­puter Sci­ence.

“This is ex­cit­ing for me be­cause I will fi­nally have a say about which po­lit­i­cal party should lead our coun­try and I am hop­ing that many young peo­ple who qual­ify to vote will also use this op­por­tu­nity to reg­is­ter be­cause this will af­fect their fu­ture,” said Not­wane.

The IEC has an­nounced that the fi­nal voter reg­is­tra­tion week­end is set for 26-27 Jan­uary 2019. About 22 932 vot­ing sta­tions across the coun­try will open their doors from 08:00 to 17:00 to al­low first time vot­ers to reg­is­ter and oth­ers to up­date and check their reg­is­tra­tion de­tails.

How­ever, the elec­toral com­mis­sion was con­cerned that the low­est voter reg­is­tra­tion lev­els are for vot­ers aged be­tween 18 and 19-years-old, which makes up 15.1 per­cent of the es­ti­mated pop­u­la­tion. This is fol­lowed by the 20 to 29 year-old-age group, which makes up 56.7 per­cent of the es­ti­mated vot­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Not­wane says he be­lieves that the low turn out of young peo­ple vot­ing, is a re­sult of lack of in­for­ma­tion about elec­tions, which makes it chal­leng­ing for the youth to par­tic­i­pate.

Not­wane said young peo­ple must re­alise that it does not help to com­plain about not get­ting ser­vices from govern­ment if they do not vote.

“For ex­am­ple, ser­vice de­liv­ery is a bit in­con­sis­tent in my home­town, but if young peo­ple can de­velop an in­ter­est in is­sues of gover­nance and pol­i­tics, they will be able to change how things are done,” he said.

“I WILL fi­NALLY have a say about which po­lit­i­cal party should lead our

coun­try. I hope that many young peo­ple who qual­ify to vote will also use this op­por­tu­nity.”

Pon­alo Not­wane has his Smart Card ID ready. He is set to reg­is­ter to vote for next year’s elec­tions.

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