South Africa: Despite Some Incidents, ANC Pleased With Voter Registration

South Africa's electoral commission has been encouraging people to registers as voters ahead of an election later in 2019.

While there have been incidents reported during the voter registration weekend, the vast majority of voting stations remained peaceful and productive, the ANC said on Saturday.

The governing party said it had received reports of protests and service delivery grievances but said this represented a small percentage of voting stations.

"About 130 such incidents have been reported to us, representing less than 0.56% of the 22 935 stations. We are confident that all hands are on deck to engage and resolve the challenges, so that citizens can register and check their addresses without any interruptions," ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

Kodwa said the party was particularly concerned with some few stations experienced logistical challenges and did not function as expected.

"These stations serve the poorest citizens in our country. We are particularly concerned at reports of potential voters turned away because they did not have written proof of address, which is not a requirement. We have urged the IEC to attend to these matters urgently."

He said their election structures reported a number of stations that were prevented from opening or functioning smoothly by protests, intimidation, and even direct attacks.

"We call upon all citizens to exercise their constitutional right to protest peacefully and unarmed. No one, no matter how dissatisfied, should interfere with the rights of other citizens, in particular the fundamental democratic right to vote."

Positive turnout

He said the ANC was encouraged by the turnout over the weekend.

"We commend those who braved the elements to visit registration stations. This reflects the commitment of South Africans to strengthening our democracy and to work together to grow South Africa."

He added: "We call upon all citizens who have not yet registered to vote to do so. All citizens returning from work, weddings, funerals, shopping and sporting events can still visit registration stations until 17:00."

Source: News24

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