Pos­si­ble poll dates an­nounced

The Witness - - NEWS - —­ News24.

THE­ 2019­ elec­tions­ will­ take­ placeon­ May­ 8,­ 15,­ 22,­ or­ 29,­ while­ the­fi­nal­ voter­ reg­is­tra­tion­ week­end­ will­take­ place­ at­ the­ end­ of­ Jan­uary,the­ IEC­ has­ an­nounced.

Elec­toral­ Com­mis­sion­ of­ SouthAfrica­ (IEC)­ chair­per­son­ Glen­ Mashinin­i­made­ the­ an­nounce­ment­ at­ apress­ brief­ing­ in­ Cen­tu­rion­ yes­ter­day.

He­ said­ the­ com­mis­sion­ had­met­ with­ Pres­i­dent­ Cyril­ Ramapho­sain­ Au­gust,­ and­ he­ had­ said­ thathe­ wanted­ the­ elec­tions­ to­ take­place­ be­fore­ the­ end­ of­ May.­ By­law,­ the­ elec­tions­ need­ to­ take­place­ by­ Au­gust­ 2019.

Ramaphosa­ is­ ex­pected­ to­ pro­claimthe­ elec­tion­ date­ in­ Fe­bru­ary,Mashinini­ said.

In­ March,­ the­ IEC­ will­ re­ceive­can­di­date­ nom­i­na­tions­ from­ po­lit­i­cal­par­ties,­ and­ all­ the­ par­ties­ will­sign­ the­ elec­toral­ code­ of­ con­duct.

The­ fi­nal­ voter­ reg­is­tra­tion­ week­end­be­fore­ the­ elec­tions­ mean­whilewill­ be­ on­ Jan­uary­ 26­ and­ 27,­ IECchief­ elec­toral­ of­fi­cer­ Sy­ Mam­abolo­said.

Mam­abolo­ said­ the­ voter­ reg­is­tra­tionweek­end­ was­ to­ al­low­ newvot­ers­ to­ reg­is­ter,­ and­ for­ those­ al­readyon­ the­ vot­ers’­ roll­ to­ changeth­eir­ de­tails­ if­ they­ needed­ to.

Vot­ers­ will­ have­ to­ pro­vide­ theirad­dress­ or­ a­ de­scrip­tion­ of­ wherethey­ live,­ but­ doc­u­mented­ proof­ ofad­dress­ is­ not­ re­quired,­ he­ said.

The­ IEC­ is­ also­ putting­ in­ pla­ce­plans­ for­ South­ Africans­ liv­ing­ out­side­the­ coun­try­ to­ reg­is­ter­ to­ voteat­ em­bassies,­ high­ com­mis­sion­sand­ con­sulates­ abroad.

The­ date­ for­ the­ in­ter­na­tion­al­reg­is­tra­tion­ week­end­ will­ be­ an­nounced­soon,­ and­ is­ likely­ to­ take­place­ just­ be­fore­ or­ af­ter­ theSouth­ African­ reg­is­tra­tion­ week­end,Mam­abolo­ said.

Voter­ reg­is­tra­tion­ will­ also­ take­place­ in­ pris­ons.

Mam­abolo­ said­ that­ pris­on­er­swere­ re­garded­ as­ be­ing­ reg­is­teredto­ vote­ in­ the­ vot­ing­ dis­trictswhere­ they­ were­ in­car­cer­ated.

Fam­ily­ mem­bers­ of­ pris­on­er­swould­ need­ to­ give­ their­ IDs­ tothem­ be­fore­ the­ elec­tion­ drive.

The­ IEC­ also­ raised­ con­cerns­about­ the­ low­ num­ber­ of­ youn­gand­ first-time­ vot­ers­ on­ the­ vot­ers’roll.­ Mam­abolo­ said­ the­ IEC­ will­launch­ a­ na­tional­ com­mu­ni­ca­tio­nand­ ed­u­ca­tion­ cam­paign.­ “A­ keythrust­ will­ be­ en­cour­ag­ing­ first­timevot­ers­ to­ reg­is­ter.”

Mam­abolo­ said­ that­ just­ about15,6%­ of­ the­ vot­ing­ age­ pop­u­la­tion­are­ vot­ers­ aged­ 18­ and­ 19.

While­ the­ ma­jor­ity­ of­ peo­ple­who­ regis­tered­ in­ the­ last­ three­elec­tions­ were­ between­ the­ age­ of19­ and­ 29,­ this­ was­ com­ing­ off­ ofa­ low­ base.

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