More than 80% of new voters younger than 30, but 6 million still unregistered - IEC

More than 80% of the new voters who registered during the final registration weekend are younger than 30 years old, the Electoral Commission of South Africa confirmed on Tuesday.

"The overall registration level remains high by international standards for countries with a voluntary registration system," IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini said.

The IEC, however, was concerned that about nine million eligible voters are still not registered, of which some six million are under 30.

Based on population estimates from Statistics South Africa, the IEC said the current voters' roll reflected a total registration of 74.5% of the eligible population.

Election drives would take place at higher education campuses early next month to increase voter registration.

Registration may also be done at local IEC offices.

Once an election date is proclaimed, however, the votes' roll will close.

The announcement is expected to be made in February.

Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said that, over the final voter registration weekend, 703 794 people had registered. Together with the registrations from the March 2018 weekend, 1 194 314 new names had been added ahead of the upcoming elections.

Over a million voters registered in a new voting district.

The highest number of new registrations came from KwaZulu-Natal, followed by Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

According to the total voters' roll, Gauteng has the most registered voters, followed by KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

The Constitutional Court last year granted the IEC until November to add addresses to the names listed on the voters' roll.

This after Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, in 2016, gave the IEC 18 months to fix the "unlawful defects" on the voters' roll, which he said were "inconsistent with the rule of law".

Mamabolo said that, over the registration weekend, 140 000 new addresses had been added.

About 21.5 million – or 83% - complete addresses have been registered, compared to the 8.4 million on the roll in April 2016.

While there were people on the roll without addresses, Mamabolo said the Constitutional Court had "made it clear" that, before people were given a ballot paper, officials should take down their address and add it to the roll.

The National Council of Provinces adopted the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill earlier this month, which, among other things, will allow those whose addresses have not yet been recorded, to still vote.

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