Cape Town – President Cyril Ramaphosa says he has not yet met with the Electoral Commission (IEC) and provinces to determine a date for the upcoming 2024 general elections in South Africa.
The national and provincial elections are expected to take place simultaneously.
Ramaphosa said that the election date-setting is part of the protocol and process, and meetings with stakeholders, including the IEC, will be held to decide on the schedule.
“That is part of the protocol. It’s part of the process. We will be meeting with all the stakeholders, including the IEC to set things out. The election date will be set,” EWN quoted him as saying.
Currently, the focus is on voter registration, and Ramaphosa expressed confidence in the African National Congress (ANC) securing victory in both Gauteng and the entire country.
South Africa held a first major voter registration drive on Saturday in a bid to tackle widespread apathy ahead of national elections next year.
I am calling on all South Africans to use this voter registration wisely to register to vote in election 2024. We can bring change and a new government to South Africa when we go to the polls next year. 🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/TUofWd8jTr
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) November 18, 2023
Polling stations across the country opened their doors to let would-be-voters register or check their details as part of a two-day exercise to woo electors back to the ballots after years of dwindling participation, AFP reported.
“I’m hoping that these elections are going to change South Africa, because if it keeps going downhill there is no point me staying here, I’ll have to emigrate overseas,” said Oliver Curlewis, an 18-year-old high school student who registered to vote for the first time in an affluent suburb of Johannesburg.
Poor services, a prolonged energy crisis and a buckling economy have left many South Africans disillusioned with their government.
Voter numbers have shrunk every five years, since South Africans jubilantly queued to cast their ballot in the first democratic elections in 1994.
At the last elections in 2019, only 49 percent of those of voting age showed up on election day.
Young people in particular have stayed away.
In 2019, only 15 percent of all eligible voters aged 18 to 19 and 30 percent of 20-to-29-year-olds cast a vote.
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Compiled by Betha Madhomu