Political parties campaigning in KwaZulu-Natal say some of the credit for the increase in the number of new registrations, especially among young potential voters, is due to their active campaigning in the province.
ANC provincial spokesperson Mafika Mndebele said the party will study the statistics regarding which areas the registrations were focused on.
“We are encouraging people to continue to register so that they can go out and vote on election day.”
Ndebele said the party was active at TVET colleges and universities ahead of the weekend registration drive.
“We have a strong suspicion that the increase in registrations in the province, especially among young people, is down to that hard work.”
DA provincial leader Francois Rodgers said the party is using social media campaigns to appeal to young potential voters.
“The situation in KZN is desperate with water, electricity and service delivery crises and people have realised they have to be politically active and cannot sit and watch the situation get worse.
“We are still encouraging people to register and will do so until the date is promulgated,” Rodgers said.
MK Party Nhlamulo Ndlela said the party noted their active campaigning and the increase in registered voters in KZN.
“The increase in the potential youth vote shows that young people are interested in playing a role in the elections.
“Many people see MK as an alternative to what has been seen in the political environment. We will continue until the voters roll is closed,” Ndlela said.
IEC chief executive Sy Mamabolo at a briefing this week said the number of young people who had registered to vote and were now eligible to cast their ballots at the national general elections, saying this was an important reversal of the historic under representation of young people.
He said this was indicative of the progress that was being made to address the historical under-representation of young people in that category.
The commission said it was pleased that there were now 4.3 million young people aged between 20 and 29 who are registered to vote.
The commission said 77% of new registrations (352 000) were young people under the age of 29, entering the voters roll for the first time.
Mamabolo said the age category of 20 to 29 had 4.3 million voters or 48% of the potential voters in that category.
KwaZulu-Natal had 103 000 new youth registrations, followed by Gauteng (82 000) and the Eastern Cape (33 000).
“Following these two registration drives, the voters roll now stands at 27.4 million. Over this weekend over 2 million citizens interacted with the commission by either visiting a registration station or via the online portal.”
Mamabolo said 1.6 million 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 1.8 million whereas the applications online give us a total yield of 240 000.”
He said there were 510 000 transactions in KZN,
Political analyst Professor Bheki Mngomezulu said the competition among several parties in KZN had helped to drive up the number of registrations to participate at the elections.
“Each party has encouraged as many perceived constituents to register and be eligible to vote.
“They have targeted the youth and the general electorate in activation programmes that have taken place all over the province.”
Mngomezulu said the fact that three major parties – the EFF, ANC and IFP – were holding their manifesto launches at Durban’s Moses Mabhida stadium was testament to the interest political parties have in the province.
“The newly formed MK Party may also want to hold their manifesto launch at the same stadium.”