Mawethu Mosery
Johannesburg - Up to 52 million ballot papers have been printed for the general elections and 52 election observing organisations have been accredited to monitor the electoral process, the Electoral Commission of SA said yesterday.

The IEC said that up to 26.7 million South Africans have registered to vote in Wednesday’s sixth general elections.

The commission on Thursday launched the KwaZulu-Natal Results Operation Centre (ROC) in Mayville, Durban, and said that the province’s 6.5 million ballot papers had been printed for its 5.5 million voters.

Although required by law to declare the outcome of the elections by Wednesday, May 15, the IEC’s deputy chief electoral officer, Mawethu ­Mosery, said that they had made a “bold undertaking” to deliver the results by Saturday, May 11.

“We have made an undertaking to maintain our standard of good performance that within three days of voting, we will announce the election results,” Mosery said.

“Political parties have until Friday, May 10, to lodge their objections. If you don’t lodge your objections by that Friday, it means you accept the outcome of this election.”

He said that up to 52 observer organisations, including 11 international observer bodies, had been accredited to oversee the running of the elections. The international observers included the AU and the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC countries.

Mosery said 770 journalists had been granted accreditation for the national ROC, while 100 had been accredited to access the KZN ROC, with more applications still coming in.

With some 220000 staff to be placed across the country’s 23000 voting stations, Mosery also urged voters to turn out early to cast their ballots.

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Political Bureau