Note to editors: Herewith the soundbite by UDM SG, Yongama Zigebe, who issued the statement

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) advocates for transparency in regards to the service providers that the IEC will use during the National and Provincial Elections season. The public/voters need to know who are these service providers and whether they are linked in one way or another to the ruling party.

Given that the IEC and its service suppliers have allegedly demonstrated evidence of vote tampering and result manipulation in previous elections, we cannot afford to take a backseat. This time, if the IEC is indeed as detached from the ruling class as it purports to be, we need openness.

Transparency will assist and bring about the much-needed faith of the young people of South Africa, who make up a large number of the population. The statistics shared by the IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo leaves a chilling effect on UDM, as they indicate that young people are not registering to vote as they should in large numbers.

The first weekend of voter registration is scheduled for November 18, and 19, 2023. There are currently 26.2 million persons registered to vote. On the voter registration, 11.6 million men and 14.4 million women are listed.

Registered voters per age category are as follows: 30-39 (6.6 million), 40-49 (5.8 million), 50-59 (4.4 million), 20-29 (3.7 million). Young people are the lowest of these statistics.

To engage and challenge young people to vote begins with the IEC being open and trustworthy in all its dealings, especially the issue of service providers. Young people need assurance that they won’t be wasting their votes, and they devote time to register and vote only to find out that these service providers cooked the results and rigged the entire process as they may be linked to one party or another.

The UDM calls on the young people of this country to take a stand against the regime and show it the door, and only at the ballot will that be possible.

There is no amount of strike or protest that will move and shake these hyenas now, besides taking up time to register online and also on the registration weekend in droves. That will send a clear message to the IEC and the ruling elite that you mean business and they must turn away from their evil ways.

The inclusion of independent candidates on the ballot for the first general election since 1994 will occur in the upcoming 2024 elections.

The UDM demands that there should be no issues such as ballots being misplaced, voters casting ballots where they are not registered to cast, and ballots arriving at polling places very late, which often turn away voters.

Young people, you need to take ownership of your country, be active citizens, and take part in the building of the democracy project. Your time to save South Africa and take her back from thieves is now.

Issued by:
United Democratic Movement National Office
Mr Yongama Zigebe
UDM Secretary General