Home National IEC: Record 27.79 million voters set to partake in South Africa’s 30-year democratic elections

IEC: Record 27.79 million voters set to partake in South Africa’s 30-year democratic elections

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IEC Announces over 145 Candidates To Contest Upcoming By-Elections

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The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) announced 27.79 million voters are registered and ready to cast their ballots in the upcoming 2024 National and Provincial Elections, setting a new record since the dawn of democracy in South Africa.

The IEC has been in full swing, preparing the voters’ roll, which is now due to be certified by the Chief Electoral Officer. During a media briefing in Pretoria on Monday, the people of South Africa were given insight into the meticulous electoral process. “The certification follows the finalisation of objections by the Commission on the provisional voters’ roll that was published for inspection on 26 February 2024. Certification signals confirmation of those citizens who are eligible to vote in the elections,” Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo, explained.

In safeguarding the integrity and confidentiality of voters’ information, Mamabolo highlighted the compliance with the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act. He assured that “electronic copies of the voters’ roll, which contain the redacted identity numbers of voters, will be provided to all political parties and independent candidates who have qualified to contest the elections.”

The IEC not only focused on the current electoral process but has been tracking the growth of the voters’ roll since its inception. Mamabolo illuminated this growth trajectory, noting a rise from the 1999 general elections: “Since the voters’ roll was compiled for the first time ahead of the 1999 National and Provincial Elections, it has shown steady growth of over 35% and contains the highest number of registered voters, recording an increase of 9.6 million voters.”

Another distinct demographic shift was the surge of young voters. “The highlight of the certified roll is the increase in the rate of representation by persons in the age cohort 18 – 39 years. This age band accounts for 42% (or 11.7 million) voters on the voters’ roll,” Mamabolo added.

Pronounced regional differences in the voting population were noted, with Mamabolo pointing out that “the provincial breakdown of the registered voters indicates that Gauteng remains the biggest voting block, followed by the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, respectively.”

In a significant nod to gender representation, 15 million of the 27.79 million voters are female, amounting to over 55%. The Chief Electoral Officer attributed this, in part, to technological advancements: “The introduction of the online self-service voter registration modality has contributed to the increased rate of registration by younger voters in the country, as well as by citizens who are resident outside of the Republic.”

As the independent and party candidates scramble to meet the electoral criteria, Mamabolo sent out a clear reminder: “Compliance verification of the candidate nomination submissions is under way.”

In the wake of these preparations, President Cyril Ramaphosa underscored the significance of the forthcoming elections — which also coincide with South Africa’s celebration of 30 years of freedom — by consulting with the Electoral Commission concerning the election date and announcing 29 May as the day of the General Elections.

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