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HOME Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has said the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) was continuing with preparations for the local government elections to be held in October.
Speaking in the National Council of Provinces on Friday, Motsoaledi said there would be a national voter registration weekend on July 17 and 18.
The electoral body will hold one voter registration weekend instead of two ahead of the municipal elections due to budget cuts.
His comment came two days after the IEC launched a nation-wide communication and mobilisation initiative.
Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said the launch was aimed to encourage every eligible voter to ensure they are ready to participate in the October elections.
“The campaign will encourage existing voters to check and update their registration details and will urge new, first-time voters to register.
“This will culminate in a single voter registration weekend during which all 23 151 voting stations will open on Saturday 17 July and Sunday 18 July between 8am and 5pm to facilitate this process,” Mamabolo said.
He also said the youth would be a key target of the campaign and other initiatives including outreach activities at school, campuses and other venues where young people gather, including online.
“The Electoral Commission is currently working with political parties within the National Party Liaison Committee to finalise alternative and additional modalities for registration and we hope to make announcements in this regard soon.”
Motsoaledi also said the IEC recently concluded the process to procure 40000 voter management devices, which will be delivered and deployed in time for the nationwide voter registration.
“The devise will provide vital day application including access to real time version of the certified voters roll
“With this device, which will replace the old zipzip machine, there is going to be no possibility of anyone voting twice. I just want to emphasise that,” he said.
Mamabolo said they have already taken delivery of 10 000 devices which were being used to train election officials for use during the voter registration weekend and other registration initiatives.
“These devices allow for the instant electronic capture of voters’ registration details including addresses and, where network coverage allows, to help check that the voter is registered in the correct ward using GPS technology,” he said.
Mamabolo also said the devices would provide access to a real-time voters’ roll which will allow election officials to detect if any voter has already presented themselves at a voting station to vote.
“This should put paid to any lingering concerns about possible double voting. In addition, the devices will assist us in ballot paper tracking, managing electoral staff attendance registers and other administrative requirements.”
Deputy Minister Njabulo Nzuza said his department has a total of 429 964 uncollected IDs that are currently in their offices.
Gauteng has the most uncollected IDs totalling 116 000, followed by KwaZulu-Natal 61 000, Eastern Cape 54 000 and Western Cape 49 000
“We urge applicants to visit their local Department of Home Affairs offices immediately upon receiving notification that their documents are ready for collection so that they can register on 17 and 18 July for the upcoming local government elections.
“We are also going to engage in a special ID collection drive to drastically reduce the number of uncollected IDs,” Nzuza said.