10 October 2013
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Wednesday unveiled a comprehensive election plan that includes a voter registration campaign aimed at getting as many South Africans as possible to participate in the country’s 2014 general elections.
The IEC has set aside the weekend of 9 and 10 November for a nationwide voter registration campaign targeting more than two-million new eligible voters.
South Africa’s voters’ roll contains just over 23-million names, and the IEC aims to have 25-million people vote in next year’s election – the fifth general election since the landmark poll of 1994, coinciding with the country’s 20 years of freedom celebrations
“We are preparing ourselves for an exceptionally high voter turnout,” IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula told journalists in Johannesburg on Wednesday. “South Africans have repeatedly shown us that they will rise to the occasion, and we are confident that the opportunity of the coming elections will be no different.”
While the date for the elections has not been proclaimed yet, the Constitution dictates that elections should be held within 90 days from the date of the last elections. This means the 2014 elections will be held some time between May and June.
According to statistics available on the IEC website, the largest number of registered voters on the voters’ roll are between the ages of 30 and 39, representing more than five-million people.
This group is followed by those aged between 20 and 29, representing over 4.5-million registered voters. There are less than 200 000 registered voters in the younger ages of 18 and 19, a number Tlakula said the IEC wants to increase.
“We make a special call on young people, especially those who will be eligible to register to vote for the first time, to show up in your numbers on the registration weekend.”
Tlakula said the registration weekend could also be used by registered voters as an opportunity to inspect their details on the voters’ roll. Voters who have changed their physical addresses since their last registration are also called on to register in their new voting districts.