Rush for IDs on Election Day

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pretoria - More than 20 000 South Africans left collecting their Identity Documents (IDs), which were needed to cast their vote, to the very last minute.

According to Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, 20 765 people collected their IDs from the department's offices on Election Day.

A further 3 318 people, who did not have IDs, were issued with temporary IDs to enable them to cast their vote, the minister told media at the Independent Electoral Commission's Results Operation Centre (ROC) in Pretoria, on Thursday.

Limpopo was the province where the highest number of IDs were collected with 4 125 people turning up for the all-important document on Wednesday.

Limpopo was followed by Gauteng with 3 569 IDs collected, while the Eastern Cape was third with 3 532.

Dlamini Zuma said after receiving reports early on Wednesday that some people did not have enough money to apply for both temporary identity certificates and IDs, a decision was taken to allow potential voters to apply for the temporary Ids, independent of an ID application.

"We decided, for the purposes of voting to delink temporary and permanent IDs so that people could get temporary IDs and cast their vote," she explained.

Normally people who have had to apply for a temporary Identity Certificate, simultaneously with the application for a new ID. Temporary Identity Certificates are issued by the department to those who have lost or misplaced their IDs while awaiting the issuance of new IDs.

Although Home Affairs offices were opened from 7 am to 7 pm on Wednesday, the minister was confident that all her staff had the opportunity to cast their vote.

Dlamini Zuma said a decision was previously taken that the staff should be allowed to apply for special votes.

In addition, staff was allowed to take turns to cast their votes. "No one was denied the right to vote," she stressed.

The minister also noted that Government departments had done well in ensuring that elections were successful.

"I hope political parties will be happy with the results...political parties will reap what they sow," she added.

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