IEC to encourage youth vote

The IEC has its sights set on young people ahead of the 2014 general elections.

IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is planning a major drive to encourage young people to register and vote in the 2014 general elections.

Millions of young South Africans will be eligible to vote for the first time in the upcoming polls but few are registered to vote.

The IEC briefed parliament's home affairs committee on Tuesday.

Census figures show there are more than 1.1 million people aged between 18 and 19 but according to the IEC, only 12 percent are registered as voters.

Of the 7.5 million people aged between 20 and 29 only 65 percent are on the voters' roll.

IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula says it is worrying.

"We are concerned and we have to devise strategies to excite that age group."

IEC will embark on dedicated registration drives, a democracy week in schools across the country during October and social media campaigns in a bid to get more people on the voters' roll.

The date for the next general elections has not been set yet.

Meanwhile, political parties are all in campaigning mode ahead of the polls.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is aiming to win Gauteng from ANC while the ruling party says it is confident this will not happen.

The ANC has since recruited volunteers to help it win back the Western Cape which is the only province that is under the DA.

REPORTS OF ANC CORRUPTION

Last month a former ANC councilor who allowed the Democratic Alliance (DA) to retake the Tlokwe Municipality believes people won't vote for the ANC next year because of corruption surrounding the party.

David Kham was one of the 14 people expelled by the ANC last month after they allowed the DA to take control of the municipality, twice.

29 councillors from all parties including the ruling party voted unanimously to return the DA's Annette Combrink to the position of mayor.

The municipality's former mayor Maphetle Maphetle failed to deal with damning forensic audit findings of corruption, and the DA used this as part of its campaign to vote the ANC out.

Kham says he doesn't need the ANC to survive.

"We've got nothing to lose. Remaining outside the ANC doesn't take our lives away. We will remain with the revolution and leave the ANC"

He said the party is dying under the weight of corruption through scandals like Nkandla and Guptagate.