JOHANNESBURG – The voter registration weekend kicks off on Saturday at more than 23,000 sites across South Africa.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said it had recruited and trained just under 50,000 people to ensure the two-day process ran as smoothly as possible.
For the first time, the IEC will use new generation equipment to ensure the immediate and accurate capture of data on the voters roll.
There are 25.6 million people on the roll and the IEC hoped to increase this to 26 million by Monday when Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will proclaim 1 November as the election date.
READY FOR ACTION
Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Masego Sheburi said they were well prepared.
“We can say as a matter of confidence that we are ready to receive potential voters in all 23,151 voting stations across the country.”
In the country’s economic hub, Cooperative Governance Minister Lebogang Maile urged people to register, saying “Gauteng has 2,815 voting stations, including 271 temporary voting stations. We are satisfied with the IEC’s state of readiness.”
Registration sites close at 5pm and those visiting stations are required to wear their masks and keep a safe distance to manage the spread of COVID-19.
In the Western Cape, the IEC’s Michael Hendrickse said health officials would also set up vaccination sites at 17 venues.
“It is important to note that this initiative is aimed at the broader health process and the IEC stresses that a voter doesn’t need to be vaccinated in order to register or to vote.”
The IEC had sought to hold the municipal elections in February next year, citing concerns over the coronavirus but the Constitutional Court dismissed its application earlier this month.
On Saturday afternoon the apex court will provide reasons for this judgment, which has led to the Democratic Alliance taking legal action against the commission for reopening the candidate registration process.
The opposition party believes this was done in favour of the ANC which failed to register councillors for 93 municipalities.
PARTIES ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
This weekend will also see political heavyweights and party representatives crisscross the country.
In Gauteng, ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa was expected to lead a delegation of senior party members in a door-to-door campaign in several areas in Soweto. They will also hold at least two community meetings.
EFF leader Julius Malema is taking his campaign to KwaZulu-Natal and his stop will include Phoenix where acts of vigilantism, fuelled by racial profiling, left 36 people dead in July.
The DA’s John Steenhuisen will focus his attention on the Western Cape while his former colleague, Herman Mashaba, who has since formed Action SA – will be bring his campaign to Johannesburg.
Source – EWN