11 October 2017

South Africa: New Pick for IEC Top Spot Seen As Having the Integrity to Address SA Elections

analysis

The Independent Electoral Commission has to collect addresses for all 26-million registered voters before the 2019 elections. It has made strides, suggesting a lack of addresses on the roll won't curtail the vote, but it still has to update seven million voters' details. The appointment of Sy Mamabolo as chief electoral officer is likely to help the IEC maintain its perception of integrity. By GREG NICOLSON.

The North West municipality of Tlokwe, of all places, could have prevented the 2016 municipal elections from going ahead. Independent candidates who lost out on positions in by-elections in 2013 challenged the legitimacy of the ballot because voters' addresses hadn't been recorded and voters were allegedly voting in the wrong district to manipulate the Tlokwe elections.

The matter went to the Constitutional Court, which ordered the IEC to record accurate voters' addresses to prevent election fraud. In mid-2016, 60% of voters on the roll had either no or incomplete addresses. The municipal elections were allowed to proceed, but the court gave the IEC a deadline to capture all voters' addresses: 30 June, 2018, roughly a year before the next national and provincial elections.

On Wednesday, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) launched an online address...

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