IEC push for up­dated info

In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion es­ti­mate 2.5 mil­lion ad­dresses still need to be ver­i­fied on the vot­ers’ roll

Afro Voice (Free State) - - POLITICS - BONOLO SELEBANO

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%.

PICTURE: ROBERTTLAPU

MAKE IT COUNT: IEC chief elec­toral of­fi­cer Sy Mam­abolo to­gether with Granville Abrahams and Dr Nomsa Ma­suke.

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