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‘Youth heeded call to register’

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There were also 21 221 re-registrations (for different voting districts) in the Province over the weekend, while there were 12 709 re-registrations for the same voting district

NEWBIES: According to the IEC over 81 percent of new registrations are under 30 years old. Picture: Danie van der Lith

A TOTAL of 16 416 new voters made use of this weekend’s final opportunity to register, bringing the number of registered people in the Northern Cape to more than 635 000.

Of the more than 16 000 voters who registered, most of them (a total of 13 274) were between the ages of 16 and 29 years.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), 868 of those who registered for the first time in the Province were between the ages of 16 and 17 years, while 4 448 were between the ages of 18 and 19 years and 7 968 were between the ages of 20 to 29 years.

According to the IEC there were also 21 221 re-registrations (for different voting districts) in the Province over the weekend, while there were 12 709 re-registrations for the same voting district.

In total, 50 346 people visited the various voting stations.

In a statement issued yesterday, the IEC stated that nationally 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.

According to the IEC, 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,” the IEC said.

“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.”

The total number of registered voters in the Northern Cape is 625 968, with females making up the majority of 335 781 while 290 212 of the registered voters in the Province are men.

A total of 8 665 are aged between the ages of 18 and 19 years.

The largest group of registered voters in the Province are aged between 30 and 39 years
(80 353 females and 75 602 males). The second largest group are between the ages of 40 to 49 years (67 719 females and 63 849 males), followed by the 20 to 29 year olds (64 699 females and 55 560 males).

A total of 8 722 women are over the age of 80 years, while
3 836 men fall in this age group.

Over the past weekend KwaZulu-Natal registered the highest number of new registrations (246 847) followed by Gauteng
(236 287) 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 the 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 IEC said yesterday it was 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 nine million eligible voters are still not registered of which approximately six million are under 30 years old.”

The IEC added that it hoped young voters would 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 IEC will also 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.