Nelson Mandela Foundation commends IEC

Friday, May 10, 2019

Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang has commended the Electoral Commission (IEC) and its executive team for a sterling job on the voting process.

“It is an honour to be part of democracy in action. You gave us an opportunity to look into a world that is complex and difficult, it is demanding of us to be understanding,” Hatang said on Friday at the Results Operations Centre in Pretoria.

Hatang was releasing the preliminary report of their observation of special votes and Election Day.

The foundation participated as an observer in the 6th National and Provincial Elections, exclusively in Gauteng and deployed observers to a minimum of 45 voting stations.

He said overall the 2019 General Election was secure, however the election process had areas of vulnerability.

These included amongst others, insufficient scanners in some voting stations and accessibility of stations for disabled people.

While South Africa has seen marginal improvement in voter turn-out, he said the National Mandela Foundation yearns to bring back the long queues of the first democratic elections in 1994.

“This is an important thing that we need to be observing - those long queues of 1994 should be something that we yearn to bring back. Those long queues tell us that people haven’t lost hope in democracy and that democracy has not been captured and it is still serving the poor and the vulnerable,” said Hatang.

Moving forward, he said, work needs to be done to make the system more robust.

“There is no doubt that we need more technology to beef it up, and we will be making recommendations to the Electoral Commission in this regard,” Hatang said. –