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Security ramped up and it's all systems go for voter registration weekend: IEC

Image: Gallo Images

The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) is implementing additional measures to safeguard its ICT infrastructure ahead of the voter registration weekend. 

This comes after the justice and constitutional development department was recently hacked through ransomware.  

Providing an update on the state of readiness for the voter registration weekend taking place on Saturday and Sunday, IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo said it was all systems go.

“We are implementing additional security measures, which we are not able to disclose here today. Suffice to say, we are not taking the matter lightly. We are working on it and we should not be experiencing any difficulty at the weekend,” he said. 

Mamabolo confirmed that on Wednesday their systems experienced technical glitches, which were resolved by that afternoon. He dismissed allegations that this had been taking place all week, as claimed by members of the EFF. 

The commission said it was ready to receive potential voters at its 23,151 registration stations across the country, which will be open from 8am to 5pm on both days.   

A total of 48,899 registration officials were trained to undertake and facilitate the registration procedures. Mamabolo said for the first time in its history, the officials had to complete online training modules and a module on the practicalities of the registration process.

The commission said it would also be using new Voter Management Devices (VMDs), which will be used for the first time on a mass scale this weekend.

“The VMDs will essentially operate in online mode in most parts of the country. In parts of the country where internet connection is not strong or reliable, the VMDs have been provisioned to operate in offline mode.

“The VMDs will enable an almost instantaneous citizenship verification as well as the correct capturing of a residential address, assisted by a mapping functionality,” Mamabolo said. 

Co-operative governance minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma last week announced November 1 as the election date, the first time in SA's history that an election will take place on a Monday.

Political parties expressed concern about this, with the IEC admitting that voting on Wednesday is ideal, but circumstances did not allow it.   

Mamabolo said the commission had written to home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi requesting that he facilitates a request to the president asking for election day to be declared a public holiday.  

“This intervention is aimed at affording all voters an equal footing to participate in the elections without being hindered by business and employment considerations on the day of voting.”


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