SA urged to register to vote

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pretoria – South Africans have been encouraged to register to vote in the upcoming local government elections.

The first registration weekend will be on 5 and 6 March. President Jacob Zuma announced on Thursday during the State of the Nation Address, in Parliament, that the local government elections will be held within three months after 18 May, the date of the last local government elections.

“We urge the youth, in particular those who are turning 18 this year, to register in their numbers for this first ever opportunity to cast their votes,” President Zuma said.

The President said government’s Back to Basics local government revitalisation plan -- launched in September 2014 – is bearing fruit, with notable progress in 2015.

“In this second phase of implementation, national government will engage in more active monitoring and accountability measures,” he said.

The President said this will include unannounced municipal visits, spot checks of supply chain management processes, the implementation of recommendations of forensic reports, site visits of Municipal Infrastructure Grant funded projects and increased interventions to assist struggling municipalities.

President Zuma said focus will be on assisting struggling municipalities. A 10-point plan of Back to Basics priority actions has been developed.

“The plan includes the promotion of community engagement, which is absolutely critical to enable communities to provide feedback on their experience of local government.

“I already undertook a walkabout at Marabastad taxi and bus rank in Pretoria to speak to informal traders and commuters,” he said.

President Zuma said during his walkabout in Marabastad, the majority of complaints and issues raised related to municipal services.

“They would like the Tshwane municipality to clean the area and also to fix some broken sewerage pipes. Traders said they needed [this] and were prepared to pay.

“They alerted me that many people in Elandspoort receive RDP houses but instead of occupying them, they either sell them or rent them out to other people,” he said.

President Zuma assured other commuters, who requested him to visit Kwaggafontein in the former KwaNdebele, to see for himself the lack of service delivery, that he will visit the area soon.

Click here for the President's full speech. –