IEC urges youth to vote
Pretoria - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has urged the country's youth to register to vote in the coming municipal elections.
"We urge young people to turn out in their numbers. They are the leaders of tomorrow and we want to invest in them in every possible way," IEC chairperson Brigalia Bam said in appeal on Wednesday to youngsters aged 18 and 19 to register this weekend to exercise their democratic right to vote.
"They must take up the opportunity of this important tradition of voting and embracing democracy," she said.
At the moment only 11.4% of the South Africans on the Voters' Roll were young people, the IEC said at a briefing in Centurion.
About 53.7% of people aged between 20 and 29 have already registered, and 93% of those over 30.
Bam urged those who had already registered to confirm their registration status.
The target was to get 1.5 million people on the Voters' Roll.
She feared that the recent rains, which had led to flooding in some areas, could hamper the registration process, but said that if this was the case, people would be given another chance to register.
The election date has yet to be announced by Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka.
Bam said preparations for the elections were at an advanced stage.