By Lee-Yandra Paulsen
The South African Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is diligently gearing up for the upcoming voter registration weekend on November 18 and 19, a critical step in the lead-up to the national general elections expected before August 2024. The exact election date will be announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The IEC Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo, affirmed that their logistical plans are progressing as scheduled.
The IEC officer for the Western Cape, Michael Hendrickse, on Tuesday, discussed the readiness of the logistical aspects of voter registration during an interview with VOC Breakfast. According to Hendrickse, preparations are well underway, with 1,572 districts and an equivalent number of registration stations set to open their doors from 7 am to 5 pm over the November weekend. This presents a golden opportunity for citizens to either register for the first time or update their registration if they’ve relocated within the same metro or from a different province.
“Even in the event of load shedding, the voter registration process should proceed smoothly. Since it is summer, the registration machines come equipped with batteries capable of sustaining operations for a minimum of 12 to 24 hours, depending on the level of activity. The IEC is confident in its ability to manage load shedding, which typically affects different areas at different times, rather than leading to a province-wide blackout,” assured Hendrickse.
Hendrickse emphasized the significance of exercising the right to vote, encouraging people to become active participants in the change they desire for their country and communities. To verify one’s voter registration status, citizens only need their original ID (Greenbook or Barcoded ID) or a valid temporary identity certificate. Copies of documents are not acceptable; the original document must be presented for scanning at the registration station. It’s essential to vote at the station where you are registered, adhering to this principle in all elections.
Collaborating closely with the Department of Home Affairs, the IEC has arranged for Home Affairs officers to issue temporary identity certificates exclusively on November 18 and 19. These temporary certificates will be available to individuals who have lost their IDs or require new ones. However, it’s important to note that Home Affairs services during the voter registration weekend will be limited to issuing temporary identity certificates and won’t address other matters like birth certificate issues.
“Citizens don’t have to wait for voter registration weekend to update their voter registration details. The IEC offers an online platform at www.elections.org.za, where individuals can register, re-register, or update their information 24/7 until the President announces the election date,” stated Hendrickse.
Photo: Facebook/ Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC)