Picture: African News Agency(ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) still does not have addresses for 2.8 million South Africans ahead of the 2019 general elections. Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo on Wednesday said despite their efforts to collect the addresses of voters as set down in a 2016 ruling by the Constitutional Court, many people’s residency still cannot be certified on the voters’ roll.

“The voters’ roll is a fundamental safeguard for free and fair elections. It is an instrument for facilitating electoral participation which is placed at the disposal of political parties for campaign purposes. It serves a functional purpose as a planning tool for accurate provision of electoral material and the avoidance of electoral fraud,” said Mamabolo.

While up to 75% of addresses have been completed, a further 3.5 million addresses are currently classified as incomplete or generic.

One of the clear mandate by ConCourt was that the IEC needs to update the roll with all addresses by June this year.

So far, Mamabolo pointed out that in the last two years, they have made significant progress by increasing the proportion of complete addresses from 34% of registered voters in March 2016 to 75%.

Furthermore, the IEC, he said, had managed to reduce the percentage of registered voters without any recorded address from 32% to 11%.

IEC’s deputy chairman Terry Tselane conceded there was more to be done saying they were however confident that they would meet their target by the deadline given.

While the Electoral Act stipulates that voters have to be a South African citizen and be of an eligible age to vote, the legislation did not require for would-be voters to produce proof of residence when checking their registration status this weekend.

“We are ready to open all voting stations ( over 200 000) this weekend for all voters to easily update their address details on the voters’ roll and for first-time voters to register. We need voters to show up and make use of this opportunity,” Mamabolo said.

The registration campaign will be held from March 10 - 11 and voting stations opened from 8am - 5pm.

The IEC indicates that Home Affairs will also open its doors this weekend for those who want to apply for temporary IDs or to merely collect their green-bar coded IDs and smart cards.

As for South Africans who live abroad, Mamabolo said the IEC was in discussions with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to set up dates for them and that this will be communicated in due course.

The 2019 national and provincial elections will be held between May and August.

What to do on March 10 -11:

If you’re between 16-18 bring your green-bar coded ID

Proof of residency is not required.

Visit your correct voting station. To find one call IEC’S contact centre on 09800 11 8000.

Visit wwww.maps.elections.org.za/vsfinder to locate your correct voting station.

Registered voters can SMS their ID number to 32810 to receive and SMS containing the address of their current voting station. SMS is charged at R1.

Political Bureau