IEC push for updated info
Independent Electoral Commission estimate 2.5 million addresses still need to be verified on the voters’ roll
WITH “little time” left before the 2019 elections kick-off, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has estimated 2.5 million more voters needed their addresses updated on the voters’ roll.
As the current term of Parliament expires in May next year, the IEC voter registration drive last weekend managed to capture an estimated 300 000 registrations of the 2.8 million voters for whom the IEC did not have addresses going into the weekend.
IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo said yesterday that time was running was out for the IEC to fix defects on the common voters’ roll in accordance with a 2016 ruling by the Constitutional Court, to record all available voters’ addresses on the national common voters’ roll ahead of the elections next year.
It is for this that he said the electoral body would spare no effort in ensuring that the IEC meets its directive instructed to it by the Constitutional Court. He said a whole host of interventions would be orchestrated to “reduce the gap”.
“We estimate that the reduction will be in the region of about 300 000. We still need to analyse the data more deeply. We believe that we could have had more in terms of the reductions. We need to go back to the drawing board and see what else we need to do to try and reduce that 2.8 million even further,” Mamabolo said.
“We will not rest on our laurels until that number is significantly reduced. The critical thing is that we will show the effort put into it.”
IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela insisted that although the IEC was faced with a “mammoth” task at hand, it was “doable”.
“A lot of work will be done between now and when we submit to the Constitutional Court. We will be doing massive outreach programmes, walkabouts and door-todoor visits,” Bapela said.
Addressing a media briefing on the outcomes of the IEC voter registration drive at the weekend, where the electoral body opened 22 000 voting stations across the country, Mamabolo said millions of voters responded positively to the call to either register as new voters, or update their registrations.
“A total of 2.7 million citizens visited their voting stations at the weekend to either register as new voters or to update their registration, making this one of the busiest voter registration weekends in recent years,” Mamabolo said.
Of the 2.7 million voters who visited voting stations, 1.3 million changed their registrations to new voting districts and 490 520 registered as voters for the first time. Of the first time registered voters, more than 400 000 (82%) were under the age of 30 and an estimated 54% were women.
Gauteng took the biggest slice of new registrations at 23.69% (122 624), followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 18.78% (104 910) and Limpopo with 17.03% (55 892).
A provincial breakdown of the weekend’s registration results showed that the Eastern Cape scored the highest level of registrations at 87%, followed by the Free State at 82.2% and KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Northern Cape at 79%.
MAKE IT COUNT: IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo together with Granville Abrahams and Dr Nomsa Masuke.