With the 2024 national elections looming, the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) is on a mission to woo crucial demographics, particularly the youth and men to the ballot.
On Monday, the commission briefed the nation on the outcome of the first voter registration campaign at the weekend.
Over half a million first-time voters registered for 2024’s national elections, with young women dominating that count.
Despite the successful turnout, the IEC believes more needs to be done to encourage young men and first-time voters to participate in the electoral process.
Women have consistently contributed the largest portion of voters since the 2014 national elections, while the youth are dubbed “the missing majority”.
Following a fierce voter registration drive – 445,000 new voters were between that ages of 16 and 29.
“[Seventy-eight point three percent] 78.3% of those who registered for the first time on the voters’ roll are young persons,” said IEC chairperson Sy Mamabolo.
“Therefore, the commission’s continued focus on young persons is producing a good yield.”
The figures showed that women appeared to be taking a greater interest in the country’s political future than their male counterparts.
“The well-entrenched trend of there being more females on the voters’ roll continues. Of the new registrations, 298,000 were females and that represents 52.5%.”
While this might reflect successfully on the voters’ roll, women and youth continue to be underrepresented on the ballot paper.