South Africa News

IEC lauds youth turnout on voter registration weekend

IEC’s Sy Mamabolo says the registration campaign has elicited a good response from young people.

“Young persons in the age category 16-29 account for 402,401 of the new registrations which is 91 percent,” said Mamabolo on Monday.

“The commission is pleased to report that over 1.7 million voters registered during the special two-day registration weekend.

“Persons registering as voters for the first time were 433,198. This accounts for 25 percent of the total registration activity.”

Mamabolo said that voters who were re-registering in the same or changed voting districts accounted for 1.277,811 applications, with more women registered than men.

“This is indicative that the message calling on voters to update their details to accord with political boundaries in which they are resident continues to resonate.

“The province with the highest registration activity is Kwazulu-Natal with 358,384. This is followed by Gauteng province with 315,282. In the third place is the Eastern Cape with 240,514.”

“A well-entrenched pattern of there being more female participants continues. 52 per cent of all new registrations were female voters.”

Amended Election Timetable
The commissionsaid that an amended timetable will be published in the Government gazette on Monday, with the candidate nomination process now closing at 5 pm on 21 September 2021.

Final lists of candidates will be published on 29 September 2021 and candidates will be issued with certificates on 1 October 2021.

“Applications for special votes opened today (Monday) and will close on 4 October 2021,” Mamabolo said.

“Special votes will be cast on both the 30 and 31 October 2021. Applicants who are unable to visit voting stations due to infirmity will be visited at homes or places of confinement whilst all other successful candidates will cast special votes at the voting stations.”

On Registration interruptions
The IEC said it was “regrettable” that some voting stations were blocked or locked due to unrest or protesting.

There were reports of interruptions in some stations, with ANC supporters alleged to have tried to block an EFF entourage. Scuffles broke out as the EFF pushed their way through the entrance of the voting station in KwaDambuza in KwaZulu-Natal.

The commission said that people should be able to practice their constitutional rights to register to vote.

Bias towards the ANC
The commission welcomed the Constitutional Court’s (ConCourt) dismissal of the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) urgent application challenging the its decision to reopen the candidate nomination process.

It said that there had been comments on how it was biased in its decision to reopen the candidate list. However, its decision was affirmed by the highest court in the land after it assessed the evidence before it, and came to the same conclusion.

The IEC said that this should settle the matter.

“The handing down of this judgment has provided all role-players with clarity in relation to the interplay between the regularity of elections on the one hand and the constitutional imperative for free and fair elections. The Commission accepts that it must strive for free and fair elections in the prevailing Covid-19 circumstances,” it said.

The Constitutional Court ruled that the decision for the IEC to re-open the candidate list was not unlawful, unconstitutional, or invalid.

-The Citizen

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