The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has added 1.2million new voters to the voters roll, with the most registrations taking place in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.
IEC chief executive Sy Mamabolo said a large number of young people had registered to vote and were now eligible to cast their ballots in the national general elections.
This was an important reversal of the historic under-representation of young people, he said.
It was also indicative of the progress being made to address the historical under-representation of young people in that category.
The commission said it was pleased that there were now 4.3million young people aged between 20 and 29 who are registered to vote.
The commission said 77% of new registrations (352000) were young people under the age of 29, who are entering the voters roll for the first time.
Mamabolo said the age category of 20 to 29 had 4.3million voters or 48% of the potential voters in that category.
KZN had 103000 new youth registrations, followed by Gauteng (82000) and the Eastern Cape (33000).
“Following these two registration drives, the voters roll now stands at 27.4million. At the weekend, over 2million citizens interacted with the commission by either visiting a registration station or via the online portal.”
Mamabolo said 1.6million people updated their registration details. “This is in line with the message that a voter must register and vote in the voting district where they reside unless they notify the commission of an intention to vote elsewhere.
“The applications at voting stations totalled 1.8million, whereas the applications online give us a total yield of 240000.”
He said there were 510000 transactions in KZN.
KZN has been a hotbed of political activity in recent months, with several parties embarking on activation drives and voter awareness campaigns – particularly aimed at the youth – as they have crisscrossed the province with rallies and mini-campaigns.
Women accounted for 233000 or 51% of the new registered voters, while men accounted for 224000 or 49%.
Gauteng remains the province with the biggest voting population (6.4million), KZN (5.7million) and the Eastern Cape (3.4 million).
Online registration will remain open until President Cyril Ramaphosa officially proclaims the election date and it is gazetted – this will mark the closure of the voters roll.
Opposition political parties have urged Ramaphosa to use his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Thursday evening to unofficially announce the elections, but Ramaphosa during a recent ANC National Executive Committee meeting said while the date would be announced soon, it was unlikely to be this week.