NW first time voters looking forward to General Elections

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mafikeng - As the country's General Elections draws closer, first time voters in the North West are excited and busy educating themselves about the electoral processes and which parties to vote for.

BuaNews took to the streets of Mafikeng to speak to first time voters to check their readiness to vote and if they had received enough education about the electoral processes for the upcoming elections.

Letlhogonolo Marebola, 19, from Unit 15 in Mafikeng said he has registered for the General Elections and was very excited because it would be his first time voting.

"I think it is important to vote as a young person so that I can also be part of the change in this country for the better."

Regarding the education received on electoral processes, Letlhogonolo said the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has been distributing information to media both print and electronic to educate first time voters about what happens during the election.

North West IEC Provincial Electoral Officer, Tumelo Thiba told BuaNews that they had done a lot of work in making sure that new voters get educated on the election processes.

"We hosted meetings with various stakeholders in the communities, worked with more than 250 field workers to ensure that voters really understand the importance and the processes of the election.

"We have also worked with various media institutions in the province to ensure that we speed up the processes for educating people about the election especially the new voters who are mostly young people," she said.

She said on behalf of the IEC: "We are positive that our new registered voters will be well informed about the election and they will go out in large numbers to cast their votes for the parties of their choice on 22 April."

Gaopalelwe Seale, 22, from Ramosadi village is a first year student at the North West University Mafikeng Campus.

She told BuaNews she couldn't wait for the elections and wouldn't miss the day for anything. "I have registered to vote for this year's election and I can't afford to miss the day which is important in the history of our country."

Masetshaba Modiehi, 18, from Magogoe village is another young person who is excited about making her mark for the first time.

She said the media has been interviewing various political parties which she finds interesting as it gives her more information about the parties contesting the elections.

"The media has given me a lot of information and I feel I am well informed to cast my vote on 22 April."

There are 238 726 people in the North West who have registered to vote for the General Elections. The numbers of new voters in the province is 96 318.