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Lower WC voter turnout blamed on apathy, weather

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said that there had been a considerable drop in the number of registered voters who cast their ballots this year, compared to 2014.

A small queue of voters standing outside the Hector Peterson Library in Lwandle waiting to vote on 8 May 2019. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The ACDP, FF Plus and EFF said that the lower voter turnout in this year's elections was the result of citizens' growing distrust in government.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said that there had been a considerable drop in the number of registered voters who cast their ballots this year, compared to 2014.

EFF Western Cape regional secretary Melikhaya Xego said the low voter turnout was a big concern for the party.

"It is a very concerning issue that we need to look at and go and listen to the people why they've given up on voting. So as the EFF, we will be reaching out to the people."

The FF Plus's Peter Marais believed voters have simply lost faith in government.

"When you have 34 parties contesting, it shows you the level of unhappiness and dissatisfaction with the DA in the Western Cape."

But the ACDP's provincial chairperson Gaynore Cele said that there were other contributing factors to the drop, one of them being the adverse weather on election day.

"I think that the rain - and you can see in Witzenberg and in the Drakenstein areas - that the voter turnout is at 57% which is much lower than the metro, so I think the weather did play a role."