South Africa registered over one-million first-time voters last weekend, Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson Pansy Tlakula said on Tuesday.
Addressing the media in Centurion outside Pretoria, Tlakula said the voter registration weekend had gone smoothly, with 2 512 219 people being assisted at the country’s 22 263 registration stations.
“Of these, 1 088 015 (43%) were new voters registering for the first time. Their commitment to democracy has helped boost the overall registration levels to almost 77% of eligible voters, up from 73.6% before the weekend,” she said.
The IEC chairperson said a further 1.7-million people (46.6%) used the opportunity to change their existing registration to a different voting station, and about 10.1% (253 098) re-registered at their existing voting station.
Tlakula said the number of registered voters aged 18 to 19 tripled, from 167 535 prior to the weekend to 434 370.
The registration percentage of 22.6% for this age group remained the lowest, and there was a need to attract a new generation of voters to the poll, she said.