SA committed to democracy

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) has commended South Africa for its continued commitment to democracy and the conduct of a peaceful electoral process.

“South Africa, through these elections, met its obligations to a democratic elections, set out in the different international instruments to which it is party,” EISA President Goodluck Jonathan said on Friday.

He was addressing a media briefing at the National Results Operations Centre (ROC) in Tshwane on the EISA election observer mission for the 2019 National and Provincial Elections.

The EISA observers visited 295 voting stations across the nine provinces.

“Overall, the 2019 elections were conducted within a strong legal and institutional framework that guarantees democratic elections. The key players in the process conducted themselves in accordance with stipulated laws and guidelines,” Jonathan said.

Jonathan said the amendments of the Electoral Act and Electoral Commission Act contributed to the improved quality of the voters’ roll and to the Electoral Commission (IEC) compliance with the rule of law in the electoral process, as well as consequently strengthened the public confidence in the process.

In an effort to address the concern of multiple voting, EISA has recommended creating a harmonised digital voter register to ensure the Zip-Zip machines can be used to track persons who have already cast their ballot and serve the purpose of a double check alongside the hard copy registers.

“Put in place adequate mechanisms for management of sub-stations to ensure that the number of voters per voting point is easily manageable. This will quicken the process and reduce voters’ waiting time and the length of the vote count,” he said.

Election Day findings

EISA notes that Election Day was largely peaceful across the country with the exception of service delivery protests in Lokomazi, Secunda, Bushbuckridge and Vumani.

“The mission notes the efforts by the IEC and the police to contain these challenges in a timely manner to ensure the electoral process was not interrupted,” Jonathan said.

He said election materials were available in adequate quantity in over 90% of the voting stations visited.

“Observers were present at the closing and counting in 16 polling stations. They observed that the stations closed at the stipulated time and voters who were in the queue had cast their vote,” Jonathan said. –