Two day polling exercise begins in South Africa

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Registration for South Africa’s crucial general elections next year kicks off this weekend in polls that are set to be tightly contested since 1994. No date has yet been set for the elections next year, reports say..

A total of 19 713 stations have been opened across the country where citizens can register or check their registration details in the two-day exercise that begins on Saturday.

In 2006, a total of 21 054 957 South Africans aged 18 or above registered to vote, with women accounting for 11 574 118 of that figure, according to the IEC.

The main political parties, including the ruling African National Congress (ANC), have launched mobilisation campaigns across the country to encourage supporters to sign up to vote.

South Africa’s main opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), is mounting a campaign aimed at ending the ANC’s dominant parliamentary majority.

“Stop Zuma two-thirds majority: register to vote,” reads a DA leaflet, written in English and Afrikaans, two of South Africa’s 11 official languages.

Earlier this year, ANC leader Jacob Zuma vowed that his party would “rule until Jesus comes back” and has recently campaigned countrywide for voters to register.

Tough competition for the ANC is however expected from the new rebel party whose members recently cut ranks from it.

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