IFP VOTER REGISTRATION CAMPAIGN
FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL AND PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS
PRINCE MANGOSUTHU BUTHELEZI MP
PRESIDENT OF THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
Durban City Hall: 15 January 2019
Today, from the very heart of Durban, the IFP is sending one simple message to the people of South Africa: Get Ready to Vote.
When it comes to something as important as shaping the future, there are things you need to do to prepare. The first thing on the checklist is registering. If you want to become part of the conversation, if you want your voice to be heard, if you want to decide your own future; you need to register to vote.
You could be the greatest activist that ever lived. But if you don't register, you won't be allowed to make your mark on the ballot paper.
Friends, there's not much time left. The election date will soon be proclaimed and the moment it's published no one will be allowed to register anymore. This door will close, and those left on the outside will need to wait another five years before they cast their vote.
Because time is getting short, the Electoral Commission of South Africa - the IEC -
will be holding its final Voter Registration Weekend on Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th of January. That's just ten days from now. On that weekend, 22 927 voting stations across South Africa will be open from 8am to 5pm.
I encourage you to visit.
If you haven't yet registered, put a reminder on your phone. Decide now which day you're going, and what time you'll go, and who you'll take with you. This is an event not to be missed. It's the pivotal moment of democracy.
You don't even need to wait for that weekend to register. If you can get to an IEC office today, or any day this month, between 8 and 5, you can take your green ID book or your ID Smartcard and go and register. There's an IEC office just 15 minutes from here. There are offices across this Province, and across the country. If you're not sure where to go, check the IEC's website, or ask an IFP leader or an IFP volunteer.
I know that I'm speaking mostly to young people, because more than half our population is under 30. But South Africans aged between 18 and 30 have the lowest rate of voter registration of all. That makes no sense! You are the change-makers, the thought-leaders and opinion-shapers. Tomorrow belongs to you. The vast majority of South Africa's voters should be the youth. Let's put this right by getting you registered.
The future is made by those who participate. I know you have something to say. So make sure you can say it when the moment arrives. When South Africa goes to the ballot box, make sure you can join us.
There has been a lot of talk about having to confirm your address, even if you're already registered. This is based on a court decision, to ensure that we double up on the integrity of the election process, keeping votes free and fair. But you don't need to take proof of address to a voting station. As long as you tell them where you live, your address will be considered confirmed.
You're not going to be stopped from voting, this time around, if you haven't confirmed your address. The court has given the IEC until November 2019 to populate the Voters' Roll with residential addresses. Still, I urge you to do it now, because this is how we ensure a free and fair election.
So if you don't need proof of address, what do you need? Do you need banking details and a payslip not older than 3 months? Not at all! Voting is your democratic right. If you are at least 16 and a South African citizen, you can take your old green bar-coded ID, or your new ID Smartcard, or even your Temporary ID Certificate; and that's all you need to register.
You won't be able to vote till you turn 18, but the sooner you register, the sooner you're ready! Registered voters are ready voters. You're ready to shape South Africa.
Today the IFP is sending hundreds of volunteers into the streets of Durban to raise awareness for voter readiness. If you're registered, give us a high-five. Your high-five says: "I'm registered, I'm ready!"
The volunteers here today are doing an exceptional service for democracy. You are the champions of the IFP. I want to personally thank you for joining this campaign. Be ready with answers to the questions you will get. Be ready to give a reason why we should vote, and why we must vote IFP.
Your job today is to get the streets of Durban talking. Let's high-five as many people as we can. Because once you've been high-fived by an IFP volunteer, you won't forget it.
Let's get the IFP at the forefront of people's minds. As South Africa prepares to vote, let's get the message out loud and clear that the IFP is the party everyone can trust.
Soon we will be launching our election manifesto, as a blueprint for solving problems and creating solutions. The IFP has great and workable ideas, and we know how to put success into practice. So let's get people ready to hear our ideas.
While our primary target right now is first-time voters and unregistered voters, the IFP is talking to everyone when we say, "Get Ready to Vote". Even if you've already registered, now is the time to check your registration and to check your voting station. You don't have to go to a voting station. Just go to the IEC's website and type in your ID number.
Or send your ID number by SMS to 32810 to find out whether you're registered, and where you're registered. Remember, if you've moved since you registered, your voting station will have changed. You can find your voting station easily by typing your current address into the IEC website.
If you're out of data, the IEC has a toll-free number. You can call 0800 11 8000 on weekdays between 8 and 5 to get help in any of our official languages. There's also the IEC Facebook page and Twitter feed. If you download the app, you can get election results and social media posts hot off the press.
If you're still wondering how to get ready to vote, speak to one of our volunteers. Speak to an IFP leader or an IFP councillor. We're here to answer your questions. We can help you check if you're registered and where you're registered. We can even help you confirm your address, or find your voting station.
We're committed to getting you ready for the biggest moment of 2019.
Let me tell you, everyone will want to have their say in this election. Next week, inmates in correctional facilities across the country will be registering to vote. Early next month, South Africans living abroad will register at one of 121 foreign missions. Your neighbour will probably register. So will that colleague you don't quite agree with; and that guy on the taxi whose ideas for the economy just don't make sense.
So you need to be part of this, because South Africa needs your voice. We need the voices of IFP activists who are speaking up for our country. Ours are the voices of hope and health and life. Ours are the voices of unity, of social justice and real economic justice. Ours are the voices of goodwill.
So if you're registered to vote, give me a high-five. And let's go help South Africa get ready!