As the final leg of the registration process draws to a close, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) prepares for the 2016 municipal elections, which is scheduled to take place in August. Provincial electoral officer for the Electoral Commission of South Africa (Western Cape) and head of the IEC in the province, Courtney Sampson, explained that the final figures are yet to be confirmed, and an analysis is scheduled to be conducted over the next few days.
He further noted that the IEC approached the Constitutional Court in order to gain clarity on issues relating to voters who do not have an official place of residency.
“What happens if you sleep on the stoop of Truworths tonight and, when we look for you, you are sleeping under the bridge – does it mean that you cannot be on the voter’s role?” Sampson asserted.
The IEC, in an attempt to register as many voters as possible, have requested voters to explain where their current place of residence.
Sampson further explained that within the Western Cape numerous issues were cited at voting stations in parts of Khayelitsha. He noted that on Saturday numerous voting stations were temporarily closed. Whilst on Sunday all voting stations were active.
Within Mossel Bay and Drakenstein, various service delivery protests occurred, which hindered the registration process.
“This was a method that community members could use to have their voices heard,” Sampson noted.
The Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs will publish the date, 3 August 2016, in the Government Gazzete, after which the voter’s role closes. The official closure of registration is, therefore, uncertain.
“At the end of the day, if there are people that would like to register, we may be able to assist them – but we do not know when the promulgation of the date is set to take place,” Sampson concluded.