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IEC: Smooth voter registration despite disruptions

Almost all of the more than 22,000 voting stations opened on time on Saturday morning.

Voter registration got off to a good start on Saturday 8 February despite disruptions caused by flooding, protests and gang activity in parts of the country. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it has been a mostly smooth day of voter registration in South Africa, despite some disruptions caused by flooding, protests and gang activity in parts of the country.

Almost all of the more than 22,000 voting stations opened on time on Saturday morning.

A handful of registration points in the Free State and Gauteng remain closed due to ongoing protests.

Flooding caused by heavy rainfall in the North West province, Limpopo and the Northern Cape resulted in a number of voting stations being forced to open late today.

In Bekkersdal in Gauteng's West Rand, Two registration points had to be closed after angry residents allegedly threw petrol bombs and threatened staff there.

The IEC's Sy Mamabolo says a few stations remain closed.

"In essence we are talking about seven stations, another six in North West and two in Bekkersdal."

Despite community unrest in Kayamandi near Stellenbosch and gang activity in Manenberg in the Western Cape, IEC officials say by and large this week's voter registration got off to a good start.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has encouraged Soweto's youth to register to vote.

Mokonyane went on a door to door campaign this afternoon.

Mokonyane accompanied by certain ANC members wearing yellow t-shirts with President Jacob Zuma's face on them campaigned in Dobsonville.

Several official cars and taxi's with ANC branding lined up the streets, calling on residents to vote for the ruling party.

Mokonyane says young people should use this last voter registration weekend to go out and register.

"We are also here to talk to young people, the first-time voters, to use this opportunity of being part of this hard won democracy."

The Gauteng premier says South Africans should continue supporting the ANC because 20 years into democracy the party continues to transform the lives of ordinary South Africans.