Durban – Political parties in KwaZulu-Natal have been out since the morning encouraging their supporters to register to vote in the upcoming local government elections in November this year.
Several parties including the IFP, Black First Land First (BLF) and the National Freedom Party (NFP) were seen in various townships in the northern parts of Durban like Inanda and Ntuzuma.
The DA has been campaigning in the more southern parts of Durban like the Bluff and Lamontville.
Voters have until 5pm on Saturday and Sunday to ensure a successful registration for the local elections later this year.
The head of the DA in KZN, Francois Rodgers, urged its supporters to take the opportunity to register to vote.
“The DA in KwaZulu-Natal calls on all its supporters to ensure that they get out to register this weekend or change their address or check if they are registered.
“We are aware that the IEC is experiencing serious challenges with their system but we are engaging with the IEC and voters will be able to fill in a form manually when they get to the voting stations,” Rodgers said.
Leader of the IFP, Velenkosini Hlabisa said the party wanted to reclaim wards lost to the ANC in previous elections.
Hlabisa said the IFP wanted to reclaim certain wards but did not specify which wards in particular.
Although he succeeded former leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Hlabisa said Buthelezi was still part and parcel of the party’s election campaign.
“Every time we make a promise to the people of South Africa, we keep that promise.
“We are not afraid to rectify a mistake if we’ve made one,” Hlabisa said outside ward 38 voting station in Ntuzuma.
Despite having a truncated timeline for the upcoming elections due to the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic, the IEC said that they were prepared to host a successful registration weekend, according to its acting provincial electoral officer Ntombifuthi Masinga on Friday.
Masinga was speaking at the IEC’s provincial offices in Westville, Durban, ahead of the voter registration process this weekend, which is set to run from September 18-19.
“We are looking forward to the registration weekend and we are quite excited that given the timeline we were given by the Concourt to hold these elections by November 1.
“It was a balancing act on our side to still meet the timelines and also deliver a reasonably free and fair election,” Masinga said.
There will be 4 940 voting stations across KZN with the current registration figures showing that there are 5 331 300 voters in the province, 1 102 282 of which are between the ages of 18-29 years old.
The commission said the number of wards in the province have increased from 870 to 901 after the municipal demarcation board had to adjust boundaries.
Two hundred and eighteen out of 4 983 voting districts were affected by the change in ward boundaries.