Home Affairs offices open

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pretoria - Voters are reminded that the Department of Home Affairs offices are open today to assist voters who need to collect their Identity Documents.

Voters will need their ID book to cast their vote.

The department confirmed that all their offices across the country will be open on Wednesday for extended hours between 7am in the morning and 9pm in the evening.

During the past month, Home Affairs has produced over 200 000 IDs.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has said it is confident more than 80 percent of those who have registered will make their way to the voting stations to cast their vote today.

"We feel very confident this time around. We have never experienced such a high enthusiasm," IEC chairperson Dr Brigalia Bam said.

Meanwhile, the IEC has expressed concern about bad weather conditions that had prevailed during this week and is also predicted for today in especially the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

The IEC's Chief Electoral Officer Advocate Pansy Tlakula said several makeshift polling stations in the Eastern Cape were blown away by strong winds on Monday. There is also an 80 percent chance of rain in KwaZulu-Natal predicted for today.

Although unfavorable weather conditions had also disrupted preparations in other provinces, Advocate Tlakula said the IEC had put in place contingency plans to allow voters to cast their ballots.

This included the setting up of more makeshift polling stations and dispatching IEC officials to where the voters may be stranded.

On Monday, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Electoral Officer Mawethu Mosery told BuaNews they were working on alternative plans to ensure smooth voting on Wednesday.

"We are aware of the weather situation on Wednesday and people should not panic, we are confident that we will be able to come up with a contingency plan," he said.

He assured voters that the IEC would do whatever necessary to get the ballot papers to voting stations on time.

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