First time voters excited about registering

Saturday, April 9, 2016
More Matshediso

Pretoria - First time voters have heeded the call by the Electoral Commission of South Africa to register to vote in the 2016 Local Government Elections in August.

Speaking to SAnews on Saturday morning at Jubilee Square in Sunnyside, Pretoria, Livhuwani Marindili said he understands that it is important for young people to vote so they can live in their ideal country.

“It is important to vote because voting gives us a chance to choose a political party that will lead us to live in the country that we want, and it enables us to have a say in the shape our country takes,” said the 24-year-old.

He said voting is about having a hand in determining the future of the country.

“Registering to vote is one of the first steps you have to take as a young South African…voting enables us to state how exactly we want our country to be,” he said.

The youngster said it is motivating to see other young people who are interested in politics.

“[In the elections] we vote for the future of the country, and we are the future,” said Marindili.

The IEC is hosting the last voter registration weekend on 9 and 10 April, ahead of the 3 August polls. All 22 617 voting stations will be open between 8am and 5pm.

On Wednesday, Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya urged eligible voters who have not yet registered or updated their address details for the upcoming 2016 elections to make use of the opportunity.

“As always, the Electoral Commission is hoping as many new voters as possible will join the existing 25.6 million registered voters to boost the voters’ roll above its current level of about 75 percent of the eligible voting population,” said Moepya.

Statistics show that approximately 80 percent of the eight million eligible voters, who are not currently registered, are younger than 30.

Over three million South African voters visited their voting stations during the March registration weekend to register for the first time, to re-register and to update their registration and address details.

This included almost 700 000 new voters.

It is hoped at least a similar number will register this weekend. –