IEC pleased as voter registration numbers show slight increase

A total of 27,782,477 South Africans have registered to vote in the upcoming May elections, with Gauteng province recording the highest number of registered voters.

This is according to a presentation made before parliament on Tuesday by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) deputy CEO for electoral operations, Masego Sheburi.

A 4% increase from previous elections

This total voter registration figure represents about a 4% increase from the 26.7 million people who registered for the previous general elections in 2019.

Sheburi and his colleagues from the IEC appeared before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Home Affairs. They briefed the committee on the report of the February voter registration weekend. Also their readiness for the May 29 general national and provincial elections.

About 28m South Africans registered to vote

Sheburi said as of March 12, 2024, the voters’ roll stood at 27,782,477 South African citizens registered to vote for the May elections.

He said the 27.7 million represents the “highest ever number of voters on the roll and the commission is pleased with that number”.

He said Gauteng recorded the highest numbers of registered voters, sitting at 6,541,978 registered voters.

Gauteng recorded highest numbers, followed by KZN

The province is followed by KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), with 5,738,249 registered voters.

Following KZN is the Eastern Cape, with 3,439,320 registered voters.

The Northern Cape recorded the lowest number of registered voters, sitting at 656,826 registered voters.

There were 58,802 registered voters out of the country.

In terms of the gender breakdown, 55,23% of the total registered voters are female, whereas 44,77% are male.

23 000 voting stations ready

Sheburi said the IEC has 23,292 voting stations. This includes 22,327 permanent voting stations, 932 temporary voting stations, and 32 mobile voting stations.

Sheburi said the procurement process for electoral materials has been finalised.

“The materials are either in hand or in the final stages of production. The ballot paper printing capacity is in place. We are awaiting the finalisation of the candidate nomination process. This will enable the award of quantities to the printers. The ballot paper printing will happen between April 10 and May 8 2024.

“The universal ballot template production and result slip printing will likewise only commence when the ballot paper generation is completed. The ballot paper quality assurance capacity will be in place. This will be in time for commencement of ballot paper printing,” said Sheburi.

Load shedding contingency measures in place

He said the commission’s contingency plans to mitigate the impact of load shedding on the voting process will be implemented by the end April 2024. The counting process after the voting has taken place will also have measures to mitigate load shedding.

Sheburi said registered voters who wish to cast special votes must apply for special voting between April 15 and May 3 on the IEC website.

He said South Africans registered to vote outside the country will cast their votes on May 17 or May 18.

Special votes

Sheburi said May 27 and May 28 have been set aside as the dates for the casting of special votes.

On the May 29 election day, all voting stations will operate from 7am until 9pm, he said.

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