Millions of South Africans heed Voter Registration Weekend call

Monday, November 20, 2023

South Africans heeded the call and headed to their voting stations in numbers to register for the upcoming 2024 National and Provincial Elections.

This, according to Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo, who was speaking during a press conference of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on Monday, following the Voter Registration Weekend.

Mamabolo revealed that some 2.9 million South Africans interacted with the commission during the weekend of 18 - 19 November 2023.

“The majority of voters – 2.7 million – visited voting stations to register, as well as update their details. A total of 196 511 voters used the online portal to do the same.

“The total registration activity over the two days was 2 904 037. Eligible citizens registering for the first time were 568 374. This accounts for 19.57% percent of total registration activity. Voters who re-registered in the same voting district numbered 1.4 million, and those who re-registered in  different voting districts were 929 564.

“The Electoral Commission appreciates and thanks all South Africans who heeded the call to register for the 2024 National and Provincial Elections,” Mamabolo said.

The Chief Electoral Officer said young people aged between 16 and 29 account for 78.31% of new voters, with young women dominating that count.

“[The] Commission’s continued focus on young persons is producing a good yield. The Commission will persist with efforts to improve the registration levels of the youth.

“The well entrenched trend of there being more females on the voters’ roll continues. Of the new registrations, 298 500, or 52.52%, were female,” he said.

South Africa’s voters’ roll now has some 26.8 million registered voters, up from 26.3 million before the weekend.

“We further urge and invite persons who manage frail-care facilities and other such institutions to make contact with the Electoral Commission to arrange visits for purposes of registering voters in those institutions. Similarly, persons who are confined at home may also cause applications to be made for them to be visited and registered.

“The Electoral Commission reiterates that these participation levels in the voter registration process are a demonstration of the commitment of South Africans to electoral democracy. For its part, the Commission will spare no effort to ensure that eligible citizens are accorded ample opportunity to enlist on the roll,” Mamabolo said.

Faster processing of applications

Mamabolo explained how the “innovations and efficiencies” of the Voter Management Device (VMD) have sped up the process of how voter registration applications are processed.

“With the VMD, particulars of voters who attended to voting stations over the weekend have now been processed and address details captured onto the voter’s roll.

“Before the introduction of the VMD, it would have taken months to capture address details of voters following a registration event. The VMD processed 834 474 live transactions, while 1 872 352 transactions were captured and later processed. This is testament to the soundness of providing for a mode that enables the VMD to operate in varied connectivity environments,” he said.

The online portal

The Chief Electoral Officer said the online registrations portal has been a success since it was introduced in July 2021 with more than 196 000 transactions recorded.

He added that the commission is “seized with resolving some online registrations that gave a “pending” message”.

“The “pending” message is received by voters in instances where the ID image that they have uploaded cannot be read or recognised by the system, or where an image other than an ID has been uploaded. We urge voters to take extra care and follow system prompts when uploading images of their ID.

“The online registration portal remains available and citizens are urged to continue to use this platform to update their particulars and register to vote. We further urge those whose applications were not concluded on the system to finalise them,” Mamabolo said.

The portal remains available and citizens can continue to register for the elections or update their details.

The site is available at

Mamabolo said the date of a second voter’s registration weekend will be announced in due course. –