'3 mln South Africans visited voting stations during registration weekend'

This included more than R692,730 new registrations and 1.9 million re-registrations.

An IEC official takes down the details of a new eligible voter registering in the Denver community near Johannesburg's CBD. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission(IEC) says more than three million South Africans visited voting stations during registration weekend.

The commission announced today that the youth accounted for more than 544,000 of first time registrations taken over the weekend as part of more than R692,730 new registrations.

Officials say they are particularly pleased by the response from first time voters.

GALLERY: Voter registration weekend in pictures

Chairperson Glen Mashinini has expressed satisfaction with what the IEC says was an incredible weekend.

"I'm going to announce only three things: Good news, good news and good news."

He says the current number of new registrations is higher than that recorded in 2011.

"Six hundred and ninety-three thousand were new registrants and 1.9 million were re-registrations."

The IEC says more than half of nearly 700,000 new registrations are by people under the age of 30.

Since the launch of the 2016 municipal elections earlier this year, the body has been vocal about its aim to attract young voters.

Mashinini says young South Africans have heeded the call to become more active in their democracy.

More than 30,000 teenagers who aren't yet old enough to vote have already added their names to the voters roll nationwide as encouraged by the IEC.

The commission says it's now more confident than ever that it will reach its target to see one million new registrations this year.

Eligible voters will have another opportunity to register or update their details on 9 and 10 April.