Voter registration | South Africans urged to come out in their numbers

todayFebruary 2, 2024 34

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South Africans have been urged to come out in their numbers to register to vote this weekend.

“Participation by all adult citizens in elections is a key cornerstone of our democracy.  It is important for all adult South Africans visit their voting station to register if they have not yet done so, to re-register if they have moved homes since their last registration and to ensure their names reflect on their voting station’s voters’ roll,” says the Congress of South African Trade Unions in a statement.

The country’s largest federation of trade unions says one single vote can bring the change South Africans need.

“Many persons frustrated with our various challenges as a society, may question the importance of voting.  It’s important to appreciate that every single vote counts.  Elections in many municipal wards in South Africa have been decided by a single vote.  We’ve seen similar experiences internationally,” it adds.

The Independent Electoral Commission will be hosting its second leg of the voter registration for this year’s general elections.

The commission says it’s reached a historic milestone, with the national voters’ roll surpassing the 27 million mark.
The certified national voters’ roll stood at 26.7 million in the 2019 general elections.
Gauteng continues to top the voters’ roll with 6 325 985 people, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 5 593 419,  and the Eastern Cape sitting at 3 356 891.
IEC CEO, Sy Mamabolo, says has attributed this to the organisation’s online registration platform, saying it has proved to be the mainstay of registrations in between general voter registration weekends.
“We recorded just under 200 000 new registrations since the registration weekend in November 2023.”
Mamabolo says over 23 000 voting stations across the country will open their doors for citizens to register or update their details if necessary.
 Registration stations will operate from 08h00 and 17h00 on both days.
“The voter Registration weekend will have over 69 718 staff members who have been recruited and trained.”
South Africans who may have lost their original ID books or smart cards need not to worry as temporary IDs will also be permitted to get registered.
At least 29 318 voters who live abroad have registered to vote at this year’s polls.
The Department of Home Affairs has extended operations for an extra two hours for the voter registration weekend.

On Friday, home affairs branches will close at 18h00 instead of 16h00.

On Saturday and Sunday, offices will open from 08h00 to 17h00 for citizens to collect their IDs, temporary IDs and new applications.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is yet to announce the election date.

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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