IEC sets record with over 100 000 online registrations in a day

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The Electoral Commission (IEC) says it has set a record of over 100 000 online registrations in a single day, surpassing physical voter registration turnout from the previous day.

In a statement, the IEC says more than one million registrations were recorded at its 23 296 voting stations at the end of the first day of voter registration on Saturday.

Over 600 000 people had registered to vote as of 12:30 on Sunday. The IEC reports that day two of voter registration weekend kicked off at 08:00 am with 91% of voting stations opened. The remainder opened less than 30 minutes later.

Gauteng has the most registered voters with over 120 000, followed by the Eastern Cape with over 118 000 and KwaZulu-Natal with just over 108 000. This comes as 40 000 online registrations were recorded today.

The Commission says it will assist voters who have received a ‘pending’ message, which is the result of faint ID images and cannot be read by the system. It has applauded South Africans who have already registered and urged those who haven’t to seize the opportunity.

IEC is eyeing its target of registering one million South Africans with special emphasis placed on young and first-time voters.

Recent studies have shown that the youth are dissatisfied with the political and economic climate leading to many of them disengaging from the electoral process.

Youth representatives 

Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Asanda Luwaca is calling for inclusive political participation and for government to create opportunities that will respond to the specific needs of the younger generation.

She says having no youth representatives in the political space is concerning because young South Africans don’t feel like they belong there.

Luwaca says NYDA is willing to use innovative methods to increase young voter participation.

“Young people are feeling that they do not have the various opportunities for themselves to be able to change their condition. Stats reveal that youth unemployment is the highest. Youth are not able to participate meaningfully in the economy and so what we’ve done as an agency alive to that reality was to say how do we do things differently this time around. We’ve partnered with Home Affairs and IEC officials to help young people register. We’ve various grants and funding for their businesses. So we’ve got ourselves as NYDA to provide that, we’ve got Harambe to provide work opportunities, your NSFAS as well as a whole range of stakeholders to come on board to provide those opportunities whilst encouraging young people to participate in those processes.”