Voter registration in full swing

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Electoral Commission has confirmed that approximately 99% of the 22 925 voting stations opened on time during the final voter registration weekend.

Addressing a media briefing on Saturday, IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said a steady stream of eligible voters were visiting stations to register and update their registration details.

“As at 11am today, approximately 140 voting stations (0.6%) around the country were not yet open due to community protests,” Mamabolo said.

The Electoral Commission has expressed appreciation for the rights of South Africans to protest peacefully and raise issues of concern.

It appealed to all communities to exercise this right in a way which does not deny the rights of other citizens to register to vote.

He said there were extensive plans that were put in place to maintain law and order by the IEC with some state departments, which have a role in the electoral process and the security agencies.

Mamabolo said those plans included state deployment in known flash points and the situation is under control.

Those voting stations are expected to open during the course of Saturday or on Sunday.

“Among the challenges experienced by registration officials at the start of the final registration weekend included dealing with inclement weather conditions in a number of provinces which had affected access to voting stations especially due to flooding or impassable roads.

“In particular, voting stations located in tents were affected by strong winds and heavy rains in the eastern Free State, parts of Gauteng, the coastal regions of KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Limpopo,” Mamabolo said.

In most cases the affected voting stations were reported operational by 11am today, once tents had been re-pitched and access to voting stations restored with the help of disaster management teams and security agencies.

The Electoral Commission has urged all South Africans to make use of the final opening of voting stations this weekend to register and update addresses for the upcoming national and provincial elections.

“Our contact centre is experiencing high call volumes which we are efficiently handling. So far, we received 2 700 calls, 300 social media queries and 200 electronic mail since 8am.

“We remind those voters already registered to make use of CLICK, CHECK and CONFIRM portal on our website to update addresses or furnish them if none in on record,” Mamabolo said.

The IEC said almost 6 000 people living abroad have registered to vote with London having the highest number of registrations followed by Dubai. –