The Deputy Chief Electoral Officer of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), Masego Sheburi, believes they are on course to register thousands of voters after recording more than 300,000 people who registered in the first few hours since they opened their voting stations.
The IEC on Saturday conducted another registration weekend for voters to register to vote ahead of the elections.
Sheburi, briefing the media on Saturday, said they have not encountered any problems at the voting stations, with 99% of their stations fully operational.
He said within the first few hours of opening their doors for voters to register more than 300,000 people registered.
“In the initial hours of this two-day registration weekend an impressive 304,221 voters have visited voting stations, Of that figure 55,019 were persons who were registering for the first time. In other words, the persons who enter the voters roll for the very first time. This early turnout not only sets a positive tone for the registration period, but also serves as a testament that citizens remain engaged with affairs of their country,” said Sheburi.
He also said they have done well on the online platform where thousands of voters have registered.
“Today alone the online registration portal recorded over 20,525 transactions. Of those 7,234 were new registrations.”
He said the online platform will be available for people to register until President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the date of the elections.
Political parties have also been busy campaigning during the voter registration weekend.
Ramaphosa is on a campaign train in Soweto on Saturday. The African National Congress has also deployed its senior leaders across the country.
The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema, is in eThekwini this weekend. This is also ahead of the party’s launch of the manifesto at Moses Mabhida stadium next weekend.
Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen has taken his campaign to Gauteng on Saturday. He will move to KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.
The leader of Inkatha Freedom Party Velenkosini Hlabisa, is in KwaZulu-Natal to drum up support for his party.
Sheburi said the registration weekend got off to a good start as they started on time.
“Within five hours of the registration process getting underway across the network of 23,303 voting stations nationwide the commission reports a seamless start with over 99% of the voting stations operational within minutes of the commencement time.of 8am,” said Shenuri.
He added that there were more than 68,000 IEC staff members manning voting stations.