IEC confident South Africans will register despite expected rains

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pretoria - The Independent Electoral Commission is confident that South Africans will turn up in their numbers to take advantage of their last chance to register to vote this weekend, despite the heavy rain that is expected.

Independent Electoral Commission, (IEC) Chief Communication Officer, Kate Bapela said she was confident that the heavy rains would not stop South Africans from registering to vote this weekend.

"The successful November 2008 voter registration weekend demonstrated that rain is not a hindrance to voters and potential voters," she told BuaNews on Thursday.

"Our young South Africans made us proud when they visited voting stations. We know they will not disappoint us this weekend, we expect them to register to vote in their thousands, rain or no rain."

According to weather forecaster, Puseletso Mofokeng from the South African Weather Services in Pretoria, eight of the country's nine provinces are expected to receive more rainfall during the final voter registration weekend.

According to Mr Mofokeng, Gauteng is expected to have 30 percent chance of rain and isolated showers this weekend.

"Another 60 percent chance of heavy rainfall is expected in the Free State, the southern part of the North West and the south as well as the eastern parts of the Northern Cape," he said.

The interior parts of the Eastern Cape are also expected to receive heavy rainfall.

In extreme western parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, Mr Mofokeng said, isolated thunder showers with a 30 percent chance of rain are expected.

However parts of the Western Cape will be dry during the registration weekend, except for Beaufort West where heavy rains are expected.

The only dry province this weekend, the weather forecaster predicted, will be Limpopo.

Meanwhile, on Thursday three border posts had been closed due to the Limpopo River overflowing in the province.

The Department of Home Affairs announced the temporary closure of the Zanzibar, Platjan and Pondrift ports of entry on Thursday afternoon.

Travelers have been advised to use the Groblersbrug and Stockpoort border posts on their way to Botswana.

The department was unable to say how long the border posts would be closed for, saying that an advisory would be issued.