IEC aims to register 1.1m new voters

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File photo: Tracey Adams

Cape Town - Political parties are in a last push to register new voters before this year’s provincial and national elections.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said that Thursday, Saturday and Sunday will be the final registration weekend before the elections.

President Jacob Zuma has yet to announce when the elections will take place.

No new registrations will be allowed after Zuma has announced the elections date.

IEC spokeswoman Kate Bapela said on Thursday the commission aimed to register 1.1 million new voters over the weekend.

During the registration weekend in November over one million new voters were registered.

There are 24.1 million voters registered on the voters roll.

This is 76.7 percent of the estimated voting age population, said the IEC.

In the Western Cape the two biggest parties, the DA and the ANC, have been on registration drives to get their supporters registered.

Last night ANC provincial chairman Marius Fransman addressed farmworkers from Mbekweni in Paarl, while the party’s Western Cape secretary Songezo Mjongile spoke to workers of Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) offices in Salt River.

Mjongile said the party would go door-to-door this weekend to motivate people to get registered.

“We will distribute pamphlets at stations and make blitz visits to key areas,” he said.

Mjongile said the ANC saw rural areas in the province and Kuils River, Delft and Khayelitsha as key areas to grow the party’s support.

DA leaders went to Bitou, George and Knysna last weekend and today DA leader Helen Zille will visit Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester.

On Thursday she will be in Athlone, Langa and Manenberg.

DA provincial elections manager Jaco Londt said the DA had organised transport to get possible voters to registration points over the weekend. Large numbers of new voters registered in both DA and ANC strongholds in the Western Cape.

Cape Town’s Ward 95, that includes Enkanini and Monwabisi, recorded the biggest number of new registrations with 2 863 new voters.

The ANC won the ward with 93 percent of the vote in the 2011 municipal elections.

There are 19 951 registered voters in the ward.

In Cape Town’s Ward 103, that includes Sonstraal Heights and Pinehurst, 2 777 new voters were registered last November.

The DA won 95 percent of the vote in the ward during 2011.

The ward has 21 029 registered voters.

The IEC said on Thursday that two voter registration weekends were conducted in South Africa’s 123 missions in 108 countries last month.

Over 3 700 people applied for registration from about 70 missions.

The highest number of applications have come from London, Dubai and Cuba.

Registration of prisoners at 235 correctional facilities started earlier this week.

Voter registration stations will be open from 8am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

cobus.coetzee@inl.co.za

Cape Times


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