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‘9 million South Africans eligible to vote aren't registered’

The IEC says 1 in 3 unregistered voters reside in Gauteng, with at least5.8 million being between 18 and 30.

IEC Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has revealed that at least nine million South Africans eligible to vote are not registered.

The IEC has given an update on its state of readiness, ahead of for the 2016 municipal elections.

It says it's hopeful for a turnout of at least one million people for this weekend's registration drive.

The electoral commission says almost one in three unregistered voters live in Gauteng and, based on the latest voting age population, at least 5.8 million are between the ages of 18 and 30.

Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya says the low number of young people registered to vote is not surprising.

"The issue of young persons, at the age of entry on the voters roll, shouldn't be an issue that should surprise us at all. We have always maintained, from the electoral commission's point of view, that young people, particularly those who have just turned 18, have not had many opportunities to register and to vote."

Moepya has called on South Africans to register, adding that he's confident everything is in place for the process to run smoothly, with at least 10 million registration forms already delivered to more than 22 thousand stations.

WATCH: All systems go ahead of voter registration drive

HOME AFFAIRS OPEN TO SUPPORT REGISTRATION DRIVE

Home affairs says it has at least 226,000 smart IDs and 68,000 green ID books that have not been collected from its branches across the country.

It says as a result, the department will be open this weekend to coincide with voter registration drive.

The department's Vusi Mkhize says, "On Saturday, instead of closing at 1pm we'll close at 5pm and then on Sunday we normally don't open but we have made a special plan that we open. We will have mobile offices that will service various clusters of polling stations."