Township youth give poll roll a miss

PHIRI CAWE

Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials and party agents at six registration stations in Lower Crossroads, Philippi and Khayelitsha, have raised concerns about the low turn-out of first-time voters over the past registration weekend, saying political parties had not done enough to educate young people about voting.

Those who did register, however, told Vukani they could not wait to vote in the local government election on Wednesday August 3.

Site C’s Vuyisa Khanya said he was happy there were no long queues so he could register quickly.

“I am highly excited to be among those who will vote soon. I do not have much expectations, but I know this is my voice. I will have a (say in) who will lead me,” he said.

He believed young people wouldn’t disappoint and would make their voices heard at the ballot box.

“I have faith in young people about voting. If you look at the protests at universities and other areas, young people have shown the world that they know what they want. They know they are the future,” he said.

Thembela Nkani, of Site B, said he knew he had the responsibility to choose his party or a leader that would work for him.

“All I know is that I am delighted to have got a chance to register as voter. This is something big for me.

“I just could not miss this golden opportunity. I will now decide in the polls who will run my ward and the country. I know my vote will make a big change. It is for that reason – and others – that I decided to register,” he said.

IEC provincial head Courtney Sampson said the results of the two rounds of voter registration would be announced today, Thursday April 14.

Mr Sampson said he was happy with the registration drives, even though there had been some disruption.

He said 150 000 new voters had been registered in the metro over the past two registration weekends.

”We were concerned about disruptions, but we are happy that we managed to resolve them. No stations were closed. They were only disrupted but not closed.

“We need to emphasise that. Among the newly registered people, the vast majority are young people,” he told Vukani.

Mr Sampson commended those who had registered as well as those who had gone to registration stations to verify their addresses.

“We laid a table and people used it. That is satisfying. All credit to the people,” he said.

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