Fo­cus now on Elec­tion 2019

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - NORMA WILDENBOER STAFF RE­PORTER

WITH the fi­nal voter reg­is­tra­tion week­end set to take place later this month, ahead of the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions, the DA in the North­ern Cape yes­ter­day launched its reg­is­tra­tion posters in Kim­ber­ley.

The fi­nal voter reg­is­tra­tion week­end will take place on Jan­uary 26 and 27 2019 at vot­ing sta­tions across South Africa. A date is yet to be set for the elec­tions, but it will most likely take place in May.

Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) chair­per­son, Glen Mashinini, pre­vi­ously in­di­cated that Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa is ex­pected to an­nounce the ex­act date in due course.

In terms of the Con­sti­tu­tion, the terms of the cur­rent Na­tional Assem­bly and pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­tures end on May 6 2019 and elec­tions must be held within 90 days there­after.

Mashinini said a voter reg­is­tra­tion week­end would be held on Satur­day, Jan­uary 26 and Sun­day, Jan­uary 27.

Mashinini said all the coun­try’s 22 932 vot­ing sta­tions would open from 8am to 5pm on the voter reg­is­tra­tion week­end.

“This is to al­low new vot­ers to reg­is­ter and ex­ist­ing vot­ers to up­date and check their reg­is­tra­tion de­tails.”

Mashinini said there are cur­rently 26.1 mil­lion reg­is­tered vot­ers on the na­tional com­mon vot­ers’ roll.

The com­mis­sion chair hoped that at least one mil­lion new vot­ers would be added to the vot­ers’ roll ahead of the 2019 elec­tions.

Mashinini said the voter reg­is­tra­tion will also be con­ducted in Jan­uary in cor­rec­tional cen­tres around the coun­try to al­low pris­on­ers to ex­er­cise their right to vote.

“For vot­ing pur­poses, pris­on­ers are re­garded as be­ing reg­is­tered to vote in the vot­ing district in which their prison is lo­cated.

“Fam­i­lies mem­bers of those who are in­car­cer­ated in cor­rec­tional fa­cil­i­ties are re­quested to de­liver their iden­tity doc­u­ments to them ahead of this reg­is­tra­tion drive,” Mashinini said.

The IEC is hope­ful that vot­ers, who are al­ready reg­is­tered, will use the op­por­tu­nity to visit their vot­ing sta­tion to check their reg­is­tra­tion and specif­i­cally to con­firm and up­date their ad­dress de­tails.

“All South Africa cit­i­zens aged 16 and older in pos­ses­sion of an of­fi­cial ID doc­u­ment can reg­is­ter as vot­ers (although only those who are at least 18 years old on vot­ing day may vote).

“Vot­ers should take a copy of their bar-coded ID book, smart card ID or tem­po­rary ID cer­tifi­cate when they go to reg­is­ter in the vot­ing district in which they or­di­nar­ily re­side.

“When reg­is­ter­ing, vot­ers will need to pro­vide their ad­dress or a de­scrip­tion of where they live to al­low the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion to place them on the cor­rect seg­ment of the vot­ers’ roll. Proof of ad­dress is not re­quired,” Mashinini said.

Ac­cord­ing to Mashinini, a reg­is­tra­tion week­end is also be­ing planned for vot­ers liv­ing abroad at South Africa’s 120 High Com­mis­sions, em­bassies and con­sulates.

“The Elec­toral Com­mis­sion will an­nounce dates once fi­nal ar­range­ments have been con­cluded with the De­part­ment of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions and Co­op­er­a­tion,” Mashinini said.

The over­seas reg­is­tra­tion week­end is likely to take place just be­fore or af­ter the South Africa week­end.

Mean­while, the DA in the North­ern Cape yes­ter­day re­vealed the party’s reg­is­tra­tion posters in Galeshewe, Kim­ber­ley.

DA pro­vin­cial leader, An­drew Louw, who was seen putting up posters, called on res­i­dents in the Province to en­sure that they are reg­is­tered to vote in the up­com­ing elec­tions.

“We es­pe­cially en­cour­age the young vot­ers, who have not yet cast their votes be­fore, to en­sure that they are reg­is­tered. We also re­mind vot­ers who moved to check that the IEC has their cor­rect de­tails. Vot­ing is an im­por­tant as­pect of our democ­racy in ac­tion and it is one we can­not take for granted.

“We vote gov­ern­ment into power and we can vote gov­ern­ment out of power too. Dur­ing my re­cent Lis­ten­ing Tour in the Province, I saw first hand how tired our peo­ple are of un­em­ploy­ment, poverty and poor ser­vice de­liv­ery. I saw how hun­gry our peo­ple are for change.

“But for that change to hap­pen, we need to vote. And to be able to vote, we first have to be reg­is­tered to vote,” Louw said.

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