The Electoral Commission has announced that 304,221 voters have visited voting stations in the initial hours of the first day of the second voter registration weekend. The voter registration weekend concluded last night.
This was ahead of the country’s 2024 national and provincial elections.
Of these, 55 019 were persons who were registering for the first time.
“The Electoral Commission is pleased to report that the second registration weekend for the imminent 2024 national and provincial elections got off to a good start.
“This early turnout not only sets a positive tone for the registration period but also serves as a testament that citizens remain engaged with the affairs of their country,” the IEC said on Saturday.
The IEC said that within five hours of the registration process getting underway across the network of 23,303 voting stations nationwide, over 99% of stations were operational within minutes of the commencement time of 8 a.m.
Preparing for the elections
The commission held the second voter registration weekend on February 3 and 4, in preparation for the general elections of the National Assembly and provincial legislatures. The first voter registration weekend was held on November 18–19, 2023.
The Electoral Commission extended its appreciation to the 68,718 electoral officers for their duty to the country as well as to the citizens for their enthusiastic participation.
“Whether you are a first-time participant or a seasoned voter, we encourage all South Africans to seize this historic moment by registering and casting their votes in the forthcoming elections.
“Today alone, the online voter registration portal recorded over 20 325 (7 234 new) voter registration transactions. We urge voters who may have had a less than pleasant experience using the online platform to try again. The online portal remains available 24 hours a day until the day the elections are proclaimed,” the IEC said.
The weekend’s important registration activity comes on the back of two major achievements by the commission, which are:
- The national voters’ roll has, for the first time, surpassed the 27 million mark. In the 2019 National and Provincial Elections (NPE), the certified voters’ roll stood at 26.7 million.
- The online registration platform continues to prove that it is the mainstay of registrations in between general voter registration weekends. It has recorded just under 200 000 new registrations since the registration weekend in November 2023. Overall registration activity in that period stood at 498 000.
Meanwhile, for those in need of assistance with identity documents, the Department of Home Affairs offices are open this weekend, facilitating the collection and issuance of necessary documents for registration purposes.
The commission extended profound gratitude to the department for the exceptional support it is rendering.
“It is important to reiterate that our collective goal, as a nation, is to ensure that every one of the eligible voters in South Africa is registered to vote in the 2024 national and provincial elections. It is, therefore, appropriate that we remind voters of the general rule in elections.
“That is, a person votes at a voting station where they are registered. The only exception to the general rule is that a voter may vote outside of the voting district of registration upon notification to the Commission by a date to be regulated by the Election Timetable,” the IEC said.
The Commission has further encouraged all eligible voters to seize the remaining hours of the registration weekend to actively participate in shaping the future of our nation, whether online or at registration stations. – SAnews.gov.za