Over 700 000 new voters added to the voters’ roll ahead of elections

The Electoral Commission is pleased to report that over 700 000 new voters registered during the final registration weekend, bringing the total number of registered voters on the voters’ roll to 26 727 921.

Most encouragingly, of the 703 794 new registrations over 81 percent (574 899) are under 30 years old. This means that the youth have heeded the call to register.

Combined with new registrations during the March 2018 registration weekend, the voters’ roll has seen 1 194 314 new voters added ahead of the upcoming elections.

Of these new voters, 52 percent are women and 48 percent are men. Nearly half (49.2 percent) are aged 20 – 29, 26.6 percent are aged 18 – 19 and 5.9 percent are aged 16 – 17.

Over the past weekend KwaZulu-Natal registered the highest number of new registrations (179 097) followed by Gauteng (176 953) and the Eastern Cape (130 959).

In terms of the total voters’ roll, Gauteng has the most registered voters (6 366 629 or 23.8 percent of the total voters’ roll followed by KwaZulu-Natal (5 525 222 or 20.7 percent), Eastern Cape (3 365 821 or 12.6 percent), Western Cape (3 120 239 or 11.7 percent), Limpopo (2 607 294 or 9.75 percent), Mpumalanga (1 949 163 or 7.3 percent), North West (1 703 795 or 6.37 percent), Free State (1 463 790 or 5.47 percent) and Northern Cape (625 968 or 2.34 percent).

In addition to new registrations, 1 078 416 voters used the weekend to register in a new voting district and 690 310 voters confirmed their registration in the same voting district.

Over 50 000 voters also used the online “Click, Check and Confirm” facility to update their address details over the weekend and over 265 000 have used the facility since it was introduced in 2017.

In total 2 472 520 voters were assisted at South Africa’s 22 925 voting stations over the weekend. Of these 65 percent visited a voting station on Sunday with a last minute rush over of the final few hours.

Based on latest voting age population estimates from Statistics South Africa, the current voters’ roll reflects a total registration by 74.5 percent of the eligible population.

The Electoral Commission is pleased with the overall registration level which remains high by international standards for countries with a voluntary registration system. However, the Commission remains concerned that approximately 9.8 million eligible voters are still not registered of which approximately 6 million are under 30 years old.

The Electoral Commission hopes young voters will make use of the short window of opportunity ahead of proclamation to still register at local IEC offices. Once the elections are proclaimed – expected during February - the voters’ roll will close for these elections.

The Electoral Commission will be undertaking registration drives at higher learning campuses in early February to further boost registrations and will continue its communication and education efforts until the last possible moment.

Registration is also continuing at South African missions abroad for citizens living outside the country where a registration drive will be held from 1 – 4 February.

(See attached tables and maps for further detail on the final weekend registration activity) 

Ensuring free and fair elections

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