IEC receives funding for barcode scanners

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Parliament - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is to receive funding for 30 000 technological advanced barcode scanners to ensure the smooth running of the 2009 General Elections.

The announcement was made by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel on Wednesday while delivering his 2009 Budget Speech in Parliament.

"Funding goes to the Independent Electoral Commission for 30 000 barcode Scanners and 105 000 transparent ballot boxes," he said.

Towards the end of 2008, the IEC introduced a modern hand-held device to help ensure that South Africans could vote efficiently.

IEC Deputy Chairperson, Thoko Mpumlwana said the portable hand-held scanning units, known as Zip Zips, could store the complete voters roll.

"With the Zip-Zips, we are no longer going to look for potential voter's details manually; scanning units optimises the efficiency of registration and voting. We have already procured the Zip-Zips which have the capacity to hold the total voters' roll," she said at the time.

Presently, there are 23 million South Africans registered to vote in the provincial and general elections set for 22 April 2009.

This number, according to the IEC, exceeds the target it had set itself of registered South Africans listed on the voters roll.

"I am pleased to announce that the final registration weekend has led to a 3.16 million increase in the number of registered voters. I am proud to announce that the voter's roll as of today contains the names of just over 23 million voters," said the IEC's Chairperson Dr Brigalia Bam in Pretoria on Wednesday.

South Africa has become a well-functioning democracy in a comparatively short time with two successful national and provincial elections being held since 1994.