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Why you should register to vote?

Written by Dale Hes

Register to vote

The Independent Electoral Commission is urging young South Africans to register to vote.

Taking part in the elections is your chance to have a say in who is tasked with governing the country.

The decisions taken by these elected officials will have a direct impact on your everyday life. 

With the final registration weekend taking place on 26 and 27 January, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) explains why registering to vote in the 2019 General Elections should be a priority for all South African residents over the age of 18.

“The elections are your chance to have a direct say in who runs your country, province and /or community and ward, and by casting your ballot, it allows for your voice to be heard and so doing, having that vote ‘count’,” said Chief Communication Officer for the IEC, Kate Bapela. 

The elections are also key to ensuring that the elected government represents the majority of people in the country. 

“The IEC appeals to all stakeholders including political parties, government departments and entities, the media and civil society organisations including labour, business, NGOs, faith-based organisations, traditional leaders and all community organisations to support the registration drive and encourage voter registration ahead of the elections.”

Bapela adds that special attention is being paid to getting young people to register to vote.

“A key area of our registration drive has been to urge young, first-time voters to register. Currently, the lowest voter registration levels are for voters aged 18 to 19 (15.6 percent of estimated eligible population) and 20 to 29 (56.7 percent of the estimated eligible population).”

To play their part in our democracy, it is also important for voters who have already registered to confirm and update their address details.

“The Commission is hopeful that voters who are already registered will use the opportunity to visit their voting station to check their registration and specifically to confirm and update their address details on 26 and 27 January 2019,” Bapela urges.

“Please use your opportunity to vote in the 2019 elections.” 

Registered voters can visit the IEC website (www.elections.org.za) to check their current registration details and voting station. They can also SMS their ID number to 32810 to receive an SMS containing the address of their voting station.