IEC calls on youth to register
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Durban: South Africans will head to designated voting stations this weekend to register to vote in the 2021 Local Government Elections.
The elections, scheduled for November 1, are held every five years in 257 municipalities.
The Constitutional Court recently dismissed an urgent application by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) for the elections to be postponed to February 2022. It ruled that voting must go ahead on any date between October 27 and November 1.
Following the court ruling, the IEC reopened the process to register candidates for the elections. This will allow political parties and independent candidates another opportunity to nominate candidates after the registration weekend.
Thabani Ngwira, the KZN communications officer for the IEC, said all 23 151 voting stations in the country would operate from 8am to 5pm.
“The registration weekend will offer all eligible citizens an opportunity to register, check or update their registration details and to re-register if they have moved or changed their residences. The commission urges young people, in particular, to take advantage of this opportunity to register and eventually vote,” he said.
Ngwira said the final candidate list would be published after the candidate nomination process was concluded.
“The deadline for candidate nomination will be published in the election timetable after the election proclamation by the Cogta (Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.”
To register to vote, you need to be a South African citizen; be 18 years old and older; possess a South African green barcoded ID, ID card or a temporary ID certificate; and you must register in person.
Sanusha Naidu, a political analyst, said it was important to register to vote as voting does make a difference.
“For example, in Zambia, if you look at the youth vote, and how they voted out the previous president, and the new president that came in was much younger and appealed to the youth. He addressed issues affecting them such as unemployment, growing the economy, poverty and inequality. In a way, I think by exercising your right to vote, you have the ability to at least think you used your vote to make some substantive change."
Lubna Nadvi, another analyst, said South Africans should vote as it was a right.
“Voting is important because it can bring about much needed change and vote out corrupt individuals and parties. Similarly, casting your vote for a specific party can help bring in effective and credible leadership.”