Elections 2014: Voter registration proceeding peacefully
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said voter registration had proceeded peacefully over the "registration weekend" (November 9th and 10th) throughout the country. However, sporadic incidents of community protests affected the registration process in "very limited areas", chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya told reporters in Pretoria: "The [affected] areas include Bekkersdal in Gauteng, Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape, Malamulele in Limpopo, the Joe Morolong municipality in the Northern Cape and Lansdowne Road in the Western Cape.“ Moepya said 99.7% of 22 263 voting stations had been operating normally across South Africa as at 3pm on Saturday. He said all voter registration centres which had been closed would be re-opened as soon as possible. The IEC's Gauteng official Masego Sheburi said seven voting stations had been closed in Bekkersdal but they were making efforts to re-open them.
The ANC was pleased with the voter registration progress currently underway, it said on November 9th: "Almost 100% of polling stations across the country have been operating since opening time this morning and many South Africans have commended the speed and ease with which they have been able to register to vote in the 2014 general elections," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the ANC was confident that eligible voters who had not registered would do so following the success of the first day: "Voting is an inalienable right, hard won through the centuries-old struggles of our people.“ The IEC said it would continue to encourage young people to register. Registration would be done at IEC offices during working hours. Preliminary estimates showed that 1.1-million people visited registration centres by November 9th.
"Early trends were that approximately 40% were new registrations, 49% were applicants changing registration details from one voting district to another and 11% were applicants re-registering in the same voting district," the IEC said. "Initial trends also point to a relatively high turnout by young people, with up to 75% of new registrations being people under 30-years."
The commission said registration centres in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape had received the most visits.
(Mail & Guardian/Sapa, Johannesburg)