The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) says it’s observed a steady flow of young people coming into voting stations to register.
The IEC says it’s encouraged by the numbers, so far, of first time and young voters coming forward and specific data will be shared on Tuesday.
The commission says registration processes will continue at higher learning institutions.
The IEC says it hopes that one million more new voters will have signed up at the end of the registration process.
CEO Sy Mamabolo notes that protests at some voting stations are largely driven by service delivery issues and not that people don’t want to vote: “The pain has emanated our young people and the majority of them, we hope, will yield the call to go to voting stations because as we say people are shaping the type of country we will have in the future.”
The commission has reminded citizens that as soon as President Cyril Ramaphosa proclaims the election date the voters roll will close for these elections.
Mamabolo says the highest number of registrations of people living abroad are in London and Dubai.
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says young people suffer the highest rate of unemployment in the country and has urged them to take the opportunity to register to vote this weekend.
On Saturday, Maimane was in Mitchells Plain, to encourage young people to register ahead of the general elections in May.
He accompanied 18-year-old Eastridge resident Sharon Lee Williams, a Chrysalis Academy graduate, to a voting station where she registered for the first time.
There were mixed views from Mitchells Plain residents about whether they’ll be voting in this year’s general elections.
Some say they are ready for the elections in May and remain hopeful that crime and unemployment will be addressed, while others say they have simply lost trust in government.
An angry resident Tamara Swartz says she will not vote this year.
Swartz says she has been for on the housing waiting list for many years and has received no assistance from the government: “I stay in a shack. During winter, I can’t even go to work because of the rain that comes through my house, but [former president Jacob] Zuma’s chickens have a house.”
Another resident Martin Cupido says he has registered to vote and wants his voice to be heard.
He is concerned about crime, poverty and unemployment: “They must give people work. The children complete their schooling years and end up sitting at home. They get frustrated and turn to drugs.”
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