At least nine million South Africans whom are eligible to vote are not registered yet. This alarming statistic was revealed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) ahead of the voters registration weekend, taking place from the 5 – 6th March.
However the IEC feels it’s not a cause for concern because they believe that numbers will increase due to more voting stations being made available. Voting was initially an innovation put in place for the people of the country to have their say. After a long period of peoples’ voices not being heard and no changes being made, many have lost hope and have a negative attitude towards voting. They no longer see it as a privilege but rather a detriment to society.
In a VOC conducted street poll on Friday, there was mixed reaction to the calls by political parties for the public to get registered.
A self-employed man stated that the system is failing and is not benefitting him in any way as the voting system is one sided.
“They are a bunch of royalty, we are the servants that must just see to them,” said the man.
A local shop owner said the country is deteriorating, as crime continues to spiral out of control.
“There is more crime and people are being raped, so what’s the use?”
A few felt that it was obligatory to vote and did not really have much feeling or anything to say about it.
Despite the publics’ negativity it seems that voting preparations are on par.
A recent article stated that women do not take any opportunity for granted including voting and the IEC statistics show more females have registered to vote.
Just like in any other situation there is always a positive side and some members felt that voting is a good system to have.
Two women agreed that casting their vote could possibly make a difference and a meaningful contribution. Another man said that a lot of the leaders suffered in prison and he felt that it was only right for the public to vote in order for the efforts of those leaders not to be in vain.
The Department of Home Affairs reported that it has about 226, 000 smart ID’s and 68.000 green ID books that have not been collected. Voters need their ID documents to cast their vote so as a result the department will be open till 5pm on Saturday and open especially on Sunday in order to accommodate those who want to collect their ID documents.
Political parties are encouraging people of all ages to vote and more than 22 000 registration facilities will be available to the public so that they can place a tick on those ballots.
The IEC said 4 018 registration venue staff and area managers have been contracted and trained. The Western Cape has 402 wards, with 116 wards in the City of Cape Town Metro.
There are 1 583 registration venues in 808 voting districts in the Metro. As of Wednesday, there are 2 900 032 registered voters.
“Our operations are in place. We encourage people that are affected by temporary road closures, due to the Argus Cycle Tour on Sunday 6 March, to visit their respective registration venues on Saturday 5 March between 8am and 5pm” said Courtney Sampson, Provincial Electoral Officer.
The affected registration venues are in the Oceanview, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Kommetjie and Simons town area. VOC (Quaanita Satardien)