IEC lauds successful voter registration weekend with 2.9 million voters registered

IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo. Picture: Timothy Bernard / African News Agency (ANA)

IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo. Picture: Timothy Bernard / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 20, 2023


Kailene Pillay

More than 2.9 million eligible voters showed up at voting stations across the country over the weekend to register for next year's national general election or update their personal details to ensure their vote is correctly counted.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) also confirmed 196,511 voters used the online portal to do the same.

The IEC held its first voter registration weekend on Saturday and Sunday in anticipation and preparation for the 2024 national and provincial elections.

The total registration activity over the two days was 2,904,037. Eligible citizens who registered for the first time were 568,374. This accounted for 19.57% of total registration activity.

Voters who re-registered in the same voting district numbered 1.4m, and those who re-registered in a different voting districts were 929,564.

Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape recorded the most registration transactions.

The provincial breakdown is as follows:

 Gauteng: 610,948

 KwaZulu-Natal: 559,933

 Eastern Cape: 516,547

 Limpopo: 332,557

 Mpumalanga: 225,074

 Western Cape: 227,620

 North West: 184,902

 Free State: 173,612

 Northern Cape: 72,844

The voters’ roll now has 26.8m voters, an increase from 26.3m before the registration weekend.

Gauteng continues to be home to the majority of the country’s population, as well as being the largest voting block at 6.2m registered voters.

Young people in the age category 16-29 accounted for 445,089, or 78.31%, of the 568 374 new voters.

"Therefore, the Commission’s continued focus on young persons is producing a good yield. The Commission will persist with efforts to improve the registration levels of the youth," the IEC said on Monday, as it tallied the numbers from the weekend.

Of the new registrations, 298500, or 52.52%, were female.

Over the registration weekend, 196,511 transactions were recorded on the online portal. The provinces with the highest online registrations were Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

The IEC found the updated and upgraded Voter Management Devices (VMD) increased the speed at which voter registration applications were processed. With the VMD, particulars of voters who attended voting stations over the weekend have already been processed and address details captured onto the voters’ roll.

Before the introduction of the VMD, the IEC said it would have taken months to capture address details of voters following a registration event.

The VMD processed 834,474 live transactions, while 1, 872,352 transactions were captured and later processed.

However, the commission said it was seized with resolving some online registrations that gave a “pending” message. The “pending” message was received by voters in instances where the ID image that they uploaded could not be read or recognised by the system, or where an image other than an ID was uploaded.

"We urge voters to take extra care and follow system prompts when uploading images of their ID. The online registration portal remains available and citizens are urged to continue to use this platform to update their particulars and register to vote. We further urge those whose applications were not concluded on the system to finalise them," it added.

The IEC's SMS line on 32810 also remains available.

The commission also urged and invited those who manage frail-care facilities and other such institutions to make contact with the IEC to arrange a visit to register voters in those facilities. Similarly, those who were confined at home may also make applications for them to be visited and registered.

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