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Not too late - voters can still register at municipal offices

By unknown | Nov 10, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Namhla Tshisela, Sipho Masombuka, Canaan Mdletshe and Mary Pappaya

Namhla Tshisela, Sipho Masombuka, Canaan Mdletshe and Mary Pappaya

All is not lost for those who missed the voter registration deadline yesterday.

Though registration closed yesterday, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said voters could still register at municipal officers throughout South Africa.

"Assuming the elections are held in April next year, people must make sure that their names are on the voters' roll by the end of February or early March," said chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula.

People should register where they live to be able to vote for the national assembly and provincial legislature in next year's general elections, she said.

Tlakula said 20million people were already on the voters' roll and the commission had expected about two million to have registered by yesterday.

IEC chairman Brigalia Bam said the weekend drizzle did not dampen the will of more than 1,1million eligible voters who turned up at 19000 registration stations by noon on Saturday.

"We expect final figures of the registration weekend by around Wednesday. We hope these figures include a substantial number of young people," said Bam.

By noon yesterday, the IEC's website had received more than 259693 visits and, 249138 had sent SMSes. Hundreds of other voters used the IEC website to check their voting status.

Bam said all registration stations, including the troubled Moutse area in Limpopo, had been operational. She said Tlakula and commissioner Terry Tselane had visited Moutse East, including the Elandsdoring, Tambo and Ntoane areas, and had witnessed the opening of registration stations.

Cold and rain did not stop rival political parties in KwaZulu-Natal from turning out.

Premier S'bu Ndebele and SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande were in Umlazi to witness voter registration.

Ndebele spoke to a taxi driver, saying: "By not registering you are allowing other people to elect leaders for you. Isn't that bad?"

IFP National Women's Brigade chairman Thembi Nzuza also visited registration points in Umlazi.

Meanwhile, IFP leaders Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Zanele Magwaza-Msibi addressed a rally at Osizweni, Newcastle.

In KwaZulu-Natal the registration process was described as "vibrant and active".

IEC provincial electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said he was pleased with the commitment shown by politicians.

"We want to encourage all political leaders to continue to lobby for a free political climate."

The province will hold a political and election freedom Indaba later this month to encourage a free and fair electioneering climate.

Mosery said poor weather had disrupted registration at 40 rural stations in KwaZulu-Natal, but said the IEC would work with the province to ensure residents can register.

He said that overall in the region scores of adults and youths had registered or checked their voting status.


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