‘Smooth voter registration’

2011-02-07 00:00

NO serious incidents were reported during the first target voter registration process that took place across the country at the weekend ahead of local government elections.

All 20 867 voting stations in the country were open between 8 am and 5 pm on Saturday and yesterday to register new voters and to allow those who are already registered to check their details on the voters’ roll.

By yesterday afternoon, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said more than 400 000 people had visited voting stations either to register as new voters or to re-register.

IEC chairperson Brigalia Bam said the figure excluded the thousands of others who visited the registration stations to check their voter’s roll details.

“We thank all South Africans who have heeded our call to register, re-register and check their details yesterday and today …

“We are also excited to say … that more than 97 000 people visited the IEC website since Saturday morning to check their details.

“Also, we received 129 000 SMSes from people wishing to reconfirm their registration details and more than 13 000 used our call centre facility to inquire about their details,” Bam said.

However, the IEC’s voter registration drive had been hampered by heavy rains in the Free State, Northern Cape and the northern parts of the Western Cape.

“Increased flooding in the Northern Cape has led to the closure of a further eight voting stations in addition to the five which were closed yesterday.

“The eight stations were in Poffadder, Sol Plaatjie and Sutherland and three in the Postmansburg area. In the Free State, there were 11 stations which did not open — three in the Zastron area, one at Koffiefontein, four at Trompsburg and three in the Dewetsdorp area. It is hoped that some of these may open during the course of the day.

“In the Western Cape, apart from the two [stations] which closed yesterday in Beaufort West, another one was closed today in the Prince Albert area, taking the total to three,” Bam said.

Bam said there were no weather challenges in Gauteng, North West or Mpumalanga. The weather improved in Limpopo, which led to all stations being opened.

Bam said final registration figures will be released on Wednesday.

KwaZulu-Natal IEC operations manager Ntombifuthi Masinga said that 18 412 people visited voting stations in the province on Saturday and by 2 pm yesterday, about 165 367 had visited.

Of those who came on Saturday, 55 939 were new voters who came to register. On Sunday, 22 210 had visited the stations for registration purposes.

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