9 February 2014

South Africa: Voter Registration Proceeding Briskly

Voter registration was reported to be proceeding briskly at registration stations around the country on Sunday, as registration officials geared for a last minute rush from eligible voters eager to register for the 7 May 2014 elections.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) reported on Sunday that early indications from the country's 22 263 registration stations showed that young people were heeding the call to participate in the elections which mark the 20th year of democracy.

"It is estimated that yesterday [Saturday] there was total registration activity of about 1.2 million across the country. Initial indications show that about half of all visitors to registration stations yesterday were new voters aged 18 to 29 years old. A spike in registrations was also reported at stations at or near universities and colleges, many of which opened for students this week.

"Heavy overnight rains in Gauteng, Limpopo, North West and the Free State caused some logistic challenges to registration stations - especially those in tents - but in most cases officials had re-erected structures and signage in time for opening," said the IEC.

By 12pm today, the IEC said only two registration stations had yet to open at all this weekend - in Joe Morolong and Tsantsabane in the Northern Cape on account of flooding.

"The Electoral Commission is monitoring the situation and will engage with the communities to make sure they are registered."

The Electoral Commission also expressed its appreciation for the continued operations of registration stations in areas, which have experienced community protest action. These areas were reported as calm earlier today with election officials reporting for duty.

The commission calls on all unregistered voters to make sure they visit their registration stations today to make use of this final weekend day to register.

"Even where they think now that they don't intend to vote in the 7 May 2014 elections, we urge them to keep their options open. If they don't register now they may regret this decision closer to the elections."

The voters' roll for the elections will close on the day of proclamation of the election date. Proclamation is expected sometime in the month of February.

To register voters must visit their correct voting station where they ordinarily live with a valid South African ID document - either a green barcoded ID, a new smartcard ID or a temporary ID certificate issued by the Department of Home Affairs.

Home Affairs offices are also opened from 8am to 5pm today to assist with collection of IDs and issuing temporary ID certificates. The Home Affairs call centre number is 0800 60 11 90.

To find out the location of their correct voting station eligible voters can:

Use the Voting Station Finder APP on www.elections.org.za.

Call the IEC Call Centre on 0800 11 8000. The Call Centre is open from 7am to 9pm today.

Voters who are already registered can check their registration details including which voting station they are registered at by SMSing their ID number to 32810.

Copyright © 2014 SAnews.gov.za. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.