Thousands of eligible voters are from 8am today expected to register with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to vote in the Local Government Elections, taking place in November.
All 23 151 voting stations will be open between 8am and 5pm.
Young people - especially those who are eligible to vote for the first time – have been encouraged to register so they can exercise their democratic right on 1 November 2021.
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, in her capacity as chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Local Government Elections earlier this week encouraged all eligible South Africans, particularly youth and first-time voters, to participate as active citizens and supporters of democracy by registering to vote.
The Electoral Commission’s Chairperson, Glen Mashinini, also urged the young people of South Africa to take advantage of the last registration weekend.
“This registration weekend will offer all eligible citizens an opportunity to register or update their registration details,” he said.
All role-players, especially political parties, have also been urged to cooperate to ensure that the election proceeds within a calm environment where voters can exercise their right to vote and make their choices on 1 November 2021, without undue impediments.
“Through the 2021 municipal elections, people can all have a say in the way in which their local area is governed.
“By voting we can ensure that local government delivers on its promises and is held to account,” the Commission said.
This year’s local government elections will take place as the country continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commission said it therefore was critical that non-pharmaceutical measures be adhered to throughout the voter registration weekend.
There are currently 77 970 candidates of which 911 are independent.
Following the voter registration weekend, the Minister will on September 20 2021, proclaim November 1st as the date of the 2021 Local Government Elections, as required by the law which stipulates that elections must be held within 90 days of the end of a five-year term of local government.
The IEC has acquired 40 000 Voter Management Devices which will be used for the first time this weekend.
These devices will, at most registration stations, be functioning online. This will facilitate the process of voter verification almost instantaneously.
Also, in a bid to encourage eligible voters to register to vote, the Electoral Commission in July this year launched an online voter registration facility allowing new voters to register and existing voters to update or amend their registration from the ease and convenience of their homes or elsewhere.
The online voter registration facility is part of the Electoral Commission’s on-going commitment to provide greater accessibility and convenience to voters.
The new online voter registration facility has been developed over a number of years.
The system utilises a number of security checks to ensure the integrity of the voters’ roll. These include the use of a One-Time-Pin (OTP) verification and the submission of a scan or photograph of the voter’s ID document.
The online registration complements other existing registration options, including ongoing voter registration at all local IEC offices and various outreach initiatives including at schools, tertiary education institutions and this weekend’s voter registration.
Providing a facility whereby voters can register, check and update their registration details without having to visit an IEC office or a voting station, will serve to minimise congestion and maximum registration.
Eligible voters can register in just a few easy steps:
1. Go to https://registertovote.elections.org.za
2. Click “Register to Vote Now”
3. Enter your personal details
4. Enter the One-Time Pin sent to your cellphone
5. Search for your address, or if you are at home, use the current location on your device
6. Take a photo of your ID OR submit a scan of your ID
7. You will receive an SMS within 24 hours confirming your successful registration.
All South African citizens aged 16 years and older in possession of an SA ID (smartcard ID or green barcoded ID book) are permitted to register as voters.
However, only registered voters aged 18 or older may vote on Election Day.
In a local government election voters may only vote in the voting district in which they are registered. There is no latitude to vote at any other voting station.
This is due to the geographic element of local government election where wards are a basis of the electoral contest.
Agents at the IEC Contact Centre are also able to assist voters with the online facility. The contact centre is open weekdays from 8am to 5pm on 0800 11 8000 in all languages. – SAnews.gov.za