As thousands of South Africans are expected to visit voter registration points across the country to participate in the final voter registration drive this weekend, the South African Weather Service (Saws) has released an update on the expected weather.
Isolated afternoon showers and thundershowers are anticipated during the Saturday, the first of the two day voter registration drive.
During the past week, much of South Africa has experienced afternoon thunderstorms, almost on a daily basis.
“The favourable conditions for thunderstorms currently arise from the combination of a surface trough over the central interior, assisted by the presence of an upper-air trough over the western parts of the country,” according to the Saws.
“In addition, cooler moist air is being introduced to the eastern parts of the country by an anticyclone located over the southern Indian Ocean.”
The Saws highlighted that consequently, all eyes are on the weather expected during the forthcoming Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) voter registration weekend, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Weather plays a significant role in the preparation and safe operation of the various IEC voter registration sites.
Moreover, the Saws noted that any inclement weather could potentially affect voter turnout.
“Isolated afternoon showers and thundershowers, with a 30% likelihood are expected across the country on Saturday, February 3. However, voters should be aware of a 60% likelihood of scattered thunderstorms which may develop along the Drakensberg mountain range in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga,” the Saws added.
Moreover, there is also a low likelihood of severe thunderstorms developing over last-mentioned regions.
“Impact-based early warnings will be issued by Saws in relation to the risk of severe storms, should the need arise,” it added.
For Sunday, the Saws said similar conditions will prevail.
“Isolated afternoon showers and thundershowers with a 30% likelihood are expected across much of the country, except over the extreme western and south-western parts, where sunny and hot conditions are expected to persist.
“Scattered afternoon showers and thundershowers with a 60% likelihood can be expected over the central, eastern and south-eastern parts of the country,” it concluded.
Earlier this week, IOL reported that the second national voter registration programme will take place on February 3 and 4.
"The second national voter registration weekend is part of the Electoral Commission's effort to ensure that South Africans who were unable to register to vote during the first registration drive in November 2023 have another opportunity to do so," the commission said.
IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela added that existing voters will also use the opportunity to update and/or change their details before the voters’ roll is closed for these elections.
On Saturday and Sunday, offices will be opened from 8am to 5pm.
"Services to be offered are application and collection of IDs and applications for Temporary Identification Certificates (TICs). TICs cost R70 and are issued on the spot.
“With these documents, eligible voters will be able to register for the 2024 national and provincial elections," said Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qoza.
Qoza said members of the public would also be able to book collection appointments before visiting offices, using the Branch Appointment Booking System (BABS) via www.dha.gov.za.