EFF wants youth to access online voter registration website and app data-free

15 September 2021 - 12:00
The EFF has called on the Electoral Commission to provide the youth with free access to its online voter registration website and app. File photo.
The EFF has called on the Electoral Commission to provide the youth with free access to its online voter registration website and app. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell/Sunday Times

With voter registration weekend taking place this weekend, the EFF has called on the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) to provide the youth with free access to its online voter registration website and app. 

The voter registration weekend was recently announced by minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, after the Constitutional Court dismissed the IEC's bid to postpone the elections until next year, as per the recommendation of former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke. 

Voter registration will take place on Saturday and Sunday, and applications for special votes will open on Monday and close on October 4.

In a statement, the EFF called on the commission to provide zero-rated mobile data access on its website and app with immediate effect.

The party noted youth voter apathy in previous years, saying it was due to lack of access to the commission's online service. 

“Tools of accessing IEC on-site offices and the online service have been some of the reasons many young people have been systemically ostracised from being proactive citizens in our country.

“It is contradictory to establish a website such as this one, with the sole purpose of encouraging young people to register to vote, and yet maintain the exclusion of the very same youth with the requirement of data for access for their participation,” said the EFF. 

According to the EFF, the youth, through the party's higher education and youth elections committee, has raised grievances concerning accessing the online voter registration service, citing lack of data. 

The party said all IEC online facilities should be zero-rated and not require a cost, particularly from the youth.

“Failure to ensure that IEC online facilities are free will cement the already widespread sentiment that the IEC is failing in its primary mandate of delivering free and fair elections and alleviating the distress of the participation of the youth in voter registration periods and subsequently, elections.”


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