Gigaba unveils IEC registration budget
WITH an election due next year, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) does not have enough funding for two national voter registration weekends in its 201819 budget, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has disclosed to Parliament.
Gigaba said in a written reply that the overall shortfall in the 201819 financial year was R346m.
“This budget shortfall necessitated that funds amounting to R211 million, which was earmarked for the registration weekends, be reprioritised to address these critical unfunded projects. The remainder of the shortfall (R135m) was funded by delaying and reprioritising certain projects,” Gigaba said.
The R211m that was originally allocated for a second registration weekend did not include the imperative to have an average of three electoral staff members per voting station.
“At the time of the 2017 MTEF it was envisaged that there would only be two staff members per voting station.
“No, the IEC does not have sufficient funding for two national registration weekends.”
In his reply to a written question from DA MP Mponeng Rabotapi, Gigaba said that during the 2017 MTEF the National Treasury allocated R630m in 2018-19 for two main registration weekends and some NPE 2019 election related activities.
Of this amount, about R581m related to the two main registration weekends and the remaining R49m related to preparatory work for the 2019 NPE such as the procurement of components of the bill of materials, he said.
Gigaba said that the R346m deficit was caused by a lack of funding by National Treasury in relation to initiatives taken by the IEC. These initiatives had to do with complying with a Constitutional Court order to rectify voters’ addresses on the national voters’ roll, as well a cyclical refreshing of the ICT hardware and platform.