Provide zero-rated mobile data access voter registration website – EFF

Fighters say accessing IEC online service is one of the reasons many young people have been systemically ostracized

The EFF calls on IEC to provide zero-rated mobile data access on IEC online voter registration website and APP

13 September 2021

The EFF calls on the IEC to provide zero-rated mobile data access on IEC voter registration website and app with immediate effect.

The IEC has incorrectly blamed youth voter apathy on disinterest when in actual fact, tools of accessing IEC on-site offices and the online service have been some of the reasons many young people have been systemically ostracized from being proactive citizens in our country.

At a fundamental level, it is contradictory to establish a website such as this one with the sole purpose of encouraging young people to register to vote and yet maintain the exclusion of the very same youth with the requirement of data for access for their participation in this regard.

Young people in South Africa are faced with a myriad of challenges inclusive of abject poverty and unemployment. Majority of young people through the various programs implemented by the Higher Education and Youth Elections Committee established by the EFF have shown keen interest in being recorded as registered voters and have raised grievances in relation to accessing the online voter registration service citing lack of data.

Young people are politically conscious and are willing to exploit all means to resolve the crisis of governance that has persevered and cost them fundamental freedoms of being politically active and involved in exercising the democratic system of choosing the government of their choice.

In the interest of ensuring that majority of young people are reached and encouraged to register to vote, all IEC online facilities should thus be zero-rated and not require a cost to be incurred by the youth in townships, rural areas and informal settlements in particular.

Failure to ensure that IEC online facilities are free, will cement the already widespread sentiment that the IEC is failing in its primary mandate of delivering free and fair elections and alleviating the distress of the participation of the youth in voter registration periods and subsequently, elections.

Issued by Leigh-Ann Mathys, Elections Spokesperson, EFF, 13 September 2021