The Electoral Commission is pleased to report that voter registration is in full swing at voting stations throughout South Africa.
Reports from the Electoral Commission’s provincial operations confirm the opening of approximately 99 percent of the 22 925 voting stations on time and a steady stream of eligible voters visiting stations to register and update their registration details.
In all but a small minority of voting stations voter registration was reported to be proceeding smoothly and efficiently at 11H00 today.
Among the challenges experienced by registration officials at the start of the final registration weekend included dealing with inclement weather conditions in a number of provinces which had affected access to voting stations especially due to flooding or impassable roads. In particular, voting stations located in tents were affected by strong winds and heavy rains in the eastern Free State, parts of Gauteng, the coastal regions of KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Limpopo.
In most cases the affected voting stations were reported operational by 11H00 today once tents had been re-pitched and access to voting stations restored with the help of disaster management teams and security agencies.
A second area of challenge was the impact of sporadic community protests which affected the opening and operations of several voting stations around the country. Reports have been received of voting stations which were unable to open on time due to access to the station being prevented by protest action including barricaded roads.
As at 11H00 today approximately 140 voting stations (0.6 percent) around the country were not yet open due to community protests.
Among the areas which reported community protests include:
- Eastern Cape: Amahlati; Mbizana; Thabankulu
- Free State: Bloemfontein (Khayelitsha)
- Gauteng: Tshwane (Mooiplaas; Pienaarspoort); Ekurhuleni (Kathlehong; Boksburg; Sebokeng); West Rand (Munsieville); Johannesburg (Lawley; Ivory Park)
- KwaZulu-Natal: Ulundi; uMsunduzi; Ndwedwe;
- Limpopo: Elias Motsoaledi; Polokwane; Ramamabolo; Giyani;
- Mpumalanga: Gert Sibande; Sekunda; Bushbuckridge
- North West: Rustenburg
- Northern Cape: Dikgatlhong
- Western Cape: Gugulethu
In all affected areas the situation is being monitored and IEC officials are working closely with the state security agencies to open the voting stations as soon as possible and safe for both eligible voters and election officials.
While the Electoral Commission appreciates the rights of South Africans to peacefully protest and raise issues of concern, it appeals to all communities to exercise this right in a way which does not deny the rights of other citizens to register and vote.
The Electoral Commission urges all South Africans to make use of the final opening of voting stations this weekend to register and update addresses for the upcoming national and provincial elections.
Our contact centre is experiencing high call volumes which we are efficiently handling. So far, we received 2700 calls, 300 social media queries and 200 electronic mail since 08h00 this morning.
We remind those voters already registered to make use of CLICK, CHECK and CONFIRM portal on our website to update addresses or furnish them if none is on record.