It is all systems go for the 2019 general elections, says the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS).
With only 25 days to go to the sixth general election, the JCPS cluster convened a briefing on its safety plans for the elections at the South African Police Service College in Pretoria on Thursday.
Police Minister Bheki Cele, State Security Agency Minister Dipuo Letsatsi- Duba and the National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole attended the briefing.
Outlining its state of readiness, the cluster assured South Africans that they can cast their vote freely and safely come Election Day on 8 May 2019.
"We are more than committed to ensuring the safety of all voters and voting stations.
"We declare that as a cluster we are operationally ready to execute our mandate and ensure a safe and secure environment for free and fair elections to prevail," said the Police Minister Bheki Cele on behalf of his cluster.
The JCPS cluster briefing took place amid several service delivery protests across the country, most notably, the protests in Tshwane which aimed to shut down the capital city.
In light of this, the cluster said it will be on high alert, adding that South Africans can expect increased visibility.
"As the JCPS cluster we can assure all South Africans that we have put plans in place to ensure that these elections take place in a free, fair, safe and secure environment.
"The South African Police Service will, during the build-up to the election, on the day of the election and the period after the election, increase police visibility through focused deployments of personnel throughout the country," said Cele.
The Police Minister assured citizens that 22 924 voting stations will be operational, ready and secured.
KwaZulu-Natal leads with the most voting stations, registering a total of 4885, followed by the Eastern Cape province with 4791 stations and Limpopo with 3157 voting stations.
"We will continue to deal decisively with the so called "no-go areas" all voting stations in the country will be accessible to all.
"No protests nor shutdowns will abuse the constitutional rights of South Africans to exercise their democratic rights to vote for the party of their choice," said the Police Minister.
Through its intelligence structures, the cluster has identified a number of hotspots and potentially volatile areas that will be monitored on a continuous basis.
"These areas will be targeted through intensified operations, informed by thorough analysis and intelligence-based deployments," said Cele.
Special voter's registration
With the application window for special voter registration nearing its close on 18 April 2019, the JCPS cluster encouraged all those who fall within the category to register.
"As a security cluster we therefore urge every citizen of this country to act responsibly, observe the laws of our country and to cooperate fully with all law enforcement agencies," said the Minister.
With a week to go until the rush of the Easter period, the JCPS said it stands ready to ensure proper coordination of all safety and security related activities during this period.
"We trust that the Easter weekend security plan will be carried out successfully and we would also like to call upon all the citizens of this country to conduct themselves in a responsible manner that will not be in conflict with the law," said Cele.