Thanduxolo Sabelo
Durban - The ANC has raised concern about 1.3 million voters who might find themselves unable to vote during next year’s general elections, because the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is unable to register their physical addresses.

ANC national executive committee (NEC) member Nocawe Mafu said the party would assist in ensuring people supply their addresses to the IEC. ANC Youth League KwaZulu-Natal secretary Thanduxolo Sabelo said it was the national government’s responsibility to make sure that the IEC had sufficient resources to collect outstanding addresses.

Mafu said the NEC treated the issue of the 1.3 million voters very seriously, as it would have an impact on election results.

She said the ANC had instructed its branches to ensure that people in all wards in the affected provinces - KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Eastern Cape -go to their nearest municipalities with their addresses to register.

“I am hoping the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) will announce another day of open ­registration. It would be a miscarriage of justice if you have people who cannot vote because of the addresses,” she said.

The IEC last week applied to the Constitutional Court requesting the deadline for registering outstanding addresses to be extended from the end of June to the end of November next year - a 17-month extension - to comply with an earlier Constitutional Court order to fix the voters roll.

The order, made in 2016, stemmed from a November 2015 Constitutional Court ruling that the 2013 Tlokwe by-elections in the North West were not free and fair.

It was feared that if the court rejected the request for the extension, this could potentially lead to the IEC being forced to remove voters with no addresses from its roll.

Sabelo said the “ANC government” should come up with a solution. “We cannot have 1.3million people who are not going to vote. It is not going to happen,” said Sabelo.

The Mercury