The Electoral Commission of South Africa on Tuesday thanked the more than two-million voters who confirmed or updated their details for the upcoming their 2019 national and provincial elections.
“The Electoral Commission would like to thank the millions of South African voters for their overwhelming response to the call to update the voters roll ahead of next year’s elections. A total of 2.7-million citizens who visited their stations over the weekend to either register as new voters or to update their registration - making this one of the busiest voter registration weekends in recent years,” Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said in Pretoria.
“Of the 2.7-million voters who visited their voting stations this weekend, 1.3-million used the opportunity to re-register in their current voting districts, 880 000 used the opportunity to change their registration to a new voting district, and 490 000 were new voters who registered for the first time.”
Of the 490 000 new voters, Mamabolo said 82 percent are under the age of 30, and approximately 54 percent were women.
“Gauteng province saw the most new registrations at 23,69 percent, followed by the province of KwaZulu-Natal with 18,78 percent, and in the third place comes Limpopo with 17,03 percent," said Mamabolo.
The voters roll in South Africa now stands at a staggering 26.2-million voters which is estimated to be approximately 75 percent of the eligible voting population based on StatsSA's [Statistics South Africa] voting age population estimates.
"With the result of the registration weekend factored in, the Eastern Cape is the province with the highest level of registration at 87 percent, followed by the Free State at 82 percent and KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo and the Northern Cape at 79 percent. Despite the high number of new voter registrations over the past weekend, Gauteng has the lowest overall registration at 67,3 percent," said Mamabolo.
"The weekend also saw a large spike in online activity, with over 50 000 registered voters using the website and our new online app to check and update their address details. Since the online facility was introduced last year, over 100 000 voters have used it to check and update their registration and address details. The online facility and our app remain available 24 hours a day for registered voters to check and update their address details."
He said the average duration spent online by voters on the app is just under six minutes.
“The Electoral Commission would like to express its deepest gratitude to all who assisted in making the weekend such a success. Our thanks especially go first and foremost to the voters themselves for turning out in huge numbers to update the voters roll, and to ensure it can be the foundation for free and fair elections.”