IEC concerned about lack of young first-time voters in KZN
More than 5-million people in KwaZulu-Natal have registered to vote in the national elections, but the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is concerned that only a small proportion of them are first-time voters.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, ahead of the final voter registration this weekend, the IEC said the current registration figures in the province show that there are 5,366,520 registered voters.
"Of these, about 1,336,506 are aged 18 to 29. One of our main concerns is that only 170,578 of registered young people are first-time voters," the IEC said.
It said it was working with "various stakeholders to mobilise this category of young people" to register for the coming elections.
"Consistent with previous election statistics, women make a higher percentage of voters on the voters' roll than men, currently sitting at 3,034,626, which equals to 54% in KZN."
According to the IEC all 4,886 voting stations throughout the province would be open on Saturday and Sunday for potential voters to register, re-register, verify their status, and check or update their address details.
About 14,685 staff have been recruited and trained to administer registration of voters at the various voting stations.
The IEC said it was expecting clear skies for the final voter registration weekend but had contingency plans in place should the weather change.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the commission said, it would focus on the registration of prisoners in correctional facilities throughout the province.
"Finally, all voting stations have been secured, staff recruited and trained, materials distributed to local destinations. Voter awareness is continuous, electronic equipment serviced and prepared for the voter registration weekend," the commission added.