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Saturday, 18 November 2023 12:09

Youth is determined to vote says Malema as parties kick off voter registration weekend.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

It's all systems go for this weekend's Voter Registration Weekend as political parties have kicked off this weekend's voter registration campaign across the country. 

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) of South Africa has set aside the 18 - 19 November for voter registration weekend. 

Thousands of eligible voters are expected to go and register with the Electoral Commission (IEC) to vote in next year's general elections.

According to the IEC, all 23 296 voting stations will be open between 8am and 5pm.

Statistics South Africa reported a 13 million shortfall in registered voters aged between 13 and 35. Additionally, the Electoral Commission of South Africa's (IEC) voters' roll statistics show that only 66% of the population has registered. Voter registration weekend is vital to closing that gap.

Young people, especially those who are eligible to vote, are encouraged to go out in their numbers to register to vote so they can exercise their democratic right.

The Electoral Commission's Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo, urged all young people of South Africa to take advantage of the registration weekend.

"The Electoral Commission declares its readiness to conduct a general registration weekend as part of the programme for the preparations for the 2024 National and Provincial Elections," he said.

Mamabolo said over the two days, 18 and 19 November, they will welcome eligible citizens at 23,296 registration stations across the country.

To ensure that all eligible voters are able to register this weekend, the Department of Home Affairs will open its offices to allow citizens to collect and to apply for their identity documents.

The offices will be open between 08h00 and 17h00 on both days on the weekend.

EFF leader Julius Malema, who visited Hitekani Primary School on Saturday morning, told the media that the party has been running an online registration campaign for the youth. 

"Only the EFF was running an online registration campaign. There is such a huge number of young people turning up to register. So the youth of South Africa are more than determined to vote," said Malema. 

Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen kicked off the party's registration weekend in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday. 

Steenhuisen said that the newly formed "multi-party" charter has now overtaken the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal. 

"That is exciting news for the people of this province. This means that we can liberate KZN from a government that is depriving residents of water, killing jobs and destroying the economy. We can change all of that."

African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to lead the party's election campaign in Soweto as well. 

He will visit Thembalethu Primary School in Meadowlands and later head to Maponya Mall. 

South Africa's seventh democratic elections must be held between May and August 2024. The exact date will be announced by the President early in 2024.