IEC pushing for 80% registration

There will be a nationwide registration drive on Saturday and Sunday.

Courtney Sampson, Western Cape Electoral Officer for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). Picture: Trevor Davids/IEC.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is pushing to have 2 million more people registered to vote to meet a target of 80 percent registration for the national election next year.

There will be a nationwide registration drive on Saturday and Sunday.

The three focus areas for the weekend are young voters, provinces' low voter registration rates and improving accessibility of voting stations in rural areas.

A total of 22,263 registration stations will be open on Saturday and Sunday, staffed by 45,795 IEC officials.

Figures show people aged 20-29 make up 49 percent of registered voters in South Africa, which means they are underrepresented.

IEC Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya said, "We are focusing on the young voters because the registration figures for those over 35 are usually very high."

Speaking to 567 CapeTalk's Africa Melane, IEC Western Cape Electoral Officer Courtney Sampson says when voting districts change, residents will have to reregister.

He confirmed if there is a change in the boundary of voting districts, the IEC will send out a targeted communication for residents to reregister in those particular areas.

Asked about a topic that came up the John Maytham Show about a conspiracy theory that the ANC is trying to destabilise the majority in the Western Cape, he laughed saying, "I find that fascinating, but no, it can't be more than a conspiracy theory. If it's communication from the IEC, then that's what it is."

"Our first priority is to make sure that the voters' roll has integrity, that people are registered in their correct voting district, because the district is the administrative unit the IEC uses to manage the elections."

Sampson says voting stations are ready to be opened.