Swellendam sees low voter registration turnout, especially among youth
A local ward councillor cited service delivery issues, a council policy on indigent relief, and youth unemployment being among the reasons for some unhappy residents not caring to register for the 2024 polls.
CAPE TOWN - Service delivery issues, a council policy on indigent relief, and youth unemployment were some of the reasons singled out for voter registration apathy in Swellendam.
Electoral Commission (IEC) officials in the town said the turnout was very low, especially among the youth.
Local ward councillor in the Railton township, Julian Matthysen, said the lack of enthusiasm could be attributed to a number of reasons, including people's unhappiness with the Democratic Alliance (DA)-led Swellendam Municipality.
Some residents were against a council policy that required them to reapply for subsidised services, such as electricity and rebates for pensioners.
Earlier this year, residents from the Matyoks informal settlement in Swellendam took to the streets to demand indigent benefits and other services.
A municipal building, the Thusong Community Centre, as well as a fire department vehicle were torched by disgruntled protestors.
Matthysen said he was very concerned about the low voter registration turnout, especially among young people.
"Young people are not really eager to come and register because of different reasons. A lot of people feel that they don't want to take part and they don't want to be part of politics anymore.”
Matthysen said he was going door-to-door to encourage residents to register to vote.