Over three million South Africans visited their local voting stations over the past weekend, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Glen Mashinini, said on Tuesday.
The voting registration stations were opened on 5 and 6 March for voters to register for the first time, re-register and update their registration details.
Addressing the media on the outcome of the first voter registration weekend, Mashinini said the number of voters who visited voting stations was more than double the number recorded during the first registration weekend of the 2011 Municipal Elections.
This was also a 23% increase of registration activity compared with the first registration weekend for the 2014 National and Provincial Elections.
“This bodes extremely well for the upcoming 2016 Municipal Elections and for the future,” said Mashinini.
Of the 3 097 194 voters who visited voting stations, 692 730 were new registrations, while 1 086 958 were re-registrations in different voting districts and 1 317 506 visited to confirm and update their registration details in the same voting district.
The weekend also saw a huge response from young people, where 544 552 new registrations were from voters under 30 years old.
Almost 54% of the new registrations were women, a trend which applied to all provinces, except the Northern Cape, where there was almost a 50/50 split between men and women in respect of new registrations.
KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng accounted for almost half of the new registrations, with 24% voters in KZN and 22.5% in Gauteng.
KZN has highest participation
Mashinini said KwaZulu-Natal had the highest overall registration activity, with 864 295 interactions recorded, followed by Gauteng with 526 580 and the Eastern Cape with 519 674.
The Electoral Commission also expressed its appreciation to the response by registered voters who heeded the call to go and update their details.
Eligible voters, who have still not registered, are urged to ensure that they don’t miss the final registration weekend, which will take place on 9 and 10 April 2016, when all voting stations will again open from 8am to 5pm.
The Electoral Commission thanked all stakeholders, including political parties, the media, government departments, security services, civil society and community leaders for their support and cooperation in the successful registration, this past weekend.
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