Elections 2014: Census 2011 results and voter registration

Following the 2011 census the Electoral Commission has, with the assistance of Statistics South Africa, made an analysis of the distribution of the estimated 31.4 million eligible voters per municipality and per ward. It has compared this information with the number of voters currently registered in those wards.

One of the main findings indicates that only 10% of 18 and 19 year olds in the country are currently registered as voters. The highest percentage of 15% is in the Eastern Cape and the lowest of 4% in the Western Cape whilst Gauteng has 5% in this age band registered as voters.

In the age band 20 – 29 years some 52% of potential voters are currently registered to vote. The highest percentage of 63% is again in the Eastern Cape with the Western Cape with 43% and Gauteng with 42% at the lower end of the scale.

In the various age bands for persons 30 years and older the percentage of registered voters increases dramatically and varies from 85% to 100% for those who are 80 years and older – in fact, in the latter age group we have more registered voters than the census indicated.

Overall the Eastern Cape and Free State have the highest rate of potential voters currently registered at 80.1% each whilst Western Cape with 70.4%, Mpumalanga with 70.3% and Gauteng with 69.5% trails the overall current national average of 73.8% of potential voters currently being registered.

Registration rates vary greatly amongst municipalities and there are a few small municipalities, with low population figures, where the indication is that most, if not all, potential voters are registered to vote – statistical distortions can, however, occur more easily with lower rather than higher numbers. The registration patterns per municipality vary from province to province but generally speaking the percentage of registered voters in rural municipalities tends to be higher than is the case in urban and in particular most metropolitan municipalities. Of particular interest is the tendency that the registration rates in different areas within many municipalities are significantly different.

The Electoral Commission today published on its website – www.elections.org.za - a provincial analysis and thematic maps which indicate the registration rate in every ward in each of our 234 local municipalities. Whilst it remains the democratic choice of every citizen to participate or not in the electoral process, the information contained in these maps will inform the registration drives of the Electoral Commission to increase the percentage of registered voters to at least 80% of the potential electorate in the next year. It shares that responsibility with civil society organisation that focuses on this area, the social responsibility element incumbent in media coverage and in particular with political parties to enthuse potential voters. The availability of detailed census data has enabled the Commission to provide what are detailed planning tools for all political parties as they contemplate their election campaigns for the elections in 2014. It also informs the media – and the public at large – of the geographically based prevailing interest to participate in our electoral democracy as we approach the 2014 elections and the twentieth anniversaries of our founding democratic elections in 1994 .

Ensuring free, fair and credible elections

22 May 2013

For media queries: Please contact Kate Bapela on 082 600 6386
For media interviews: Please email requests to [email protected]

Also find the IEC on -
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/IECSouthAfrica
• Twitter: @IECSouthAfrica
• You Tube: www.youtube.com/user/IECSouthAfrica
• Website: www.elections.org.za