Home News Last Call: Register To Vote, Before Time Runs Out

Last Call: Register To Vote, Before Time Runs Out

by Zahid Jadwat

The public may register to vote before Friday. [Picture: GCIS]


South Africans will have a decisive say in the 2024 elections, when the prospects of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) losing its majority are more real than ever. But, to do so, they will have to register to vote – before Friday.

On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the provincial and national elections will be held on 29 May. However, eligible voters have until the official proclamation of the date to register. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) anticipates this would be Friday, 23 February.

“The Electoral Commission reminds South Africans that, while the date has been set and announced, eligible voters have until Friday 23 February 2024 to register. The later date is the anticipated day of the proclamation of the election date,” the Commission said in a statement.


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Your democratic right (and responsibility)

Voting is a democratic right. While the latest voter registration weekend noted overwhelming new registrations, participation in previous elections were a cause for concern.

“Voting is showing a sense of responsibility,” says Dr Ntsikelelo Breakfast, a political analyst at the Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in Gqeberha. Furthermore, he adds, it demonstrates “that you care about the direction the country is taking and you care about generations to come.

Additionally, he says, a government will be formed whether one voted or not. This means people “might as well vote” instead of sitting it out.

“Some people don’t vote, in opposition to a slow pace of service delivery. The point that one needs to understand is that even if you don’t vote, someone is going to vote for you. The more you stay away from the polls, the easier you make it for politicians to do as they please.”

Many experts anticipate the 2024 elections will be nearly as significant as those of 1994, with the first real prospects of the ruling party losing its majority. Several surveys recently predicted the ANC will dip below 50%.

Although it may garner the majority of the votes, there is an increasing likelihood it will need to partner with a smaller party to form a majority. This opens the prospect of coalition politics, making voting even more important.

There are so many options, says Breakfast, with political parties across the spectrum, that voters are spoilt for choice. “I see no reason why one would not vote,” he concludes.

If you are 16 or older, you may register to vote. You must, however, be 18 or older to be eligible to cast your vote. Registration can be done via the IEC’s online voter portal in a matter of minutes. Registration is once-off.


Do it for the millions whose hopes have faded; for the revival of aspirations.

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