Cape Town - Politicians were out in full force all over
the country as the second round of voter registration for municipal and local
elections got underway on Saturday with hitches in some places.
The Electoral Commission hoped that the second round would
boost the existing voters’ roll of 25.6 million and register the estimated
eight million eligible voters who are not registered yet.
It especially wants young people to register because 80%
percent of the eligible voters not registered yet are under the age of
The leadership of the ANC was out in their signature gold
and green colours where they went on door-to-door campaigns, handing out party
t-shirts to potential voters for the 13 August poll.
And while it was defending its decision that it accepted
President Jacob Zuma's apology over for the confusion caused by his approached
to the Nkandla controversy, it also had to put out a Twitter fire.
A message "If you don't support Cde Jacob Zuma, we do
not want your votes!" on @MyANC_ was quickly attributed to a hacker.
Party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said somebody was trying to
distract them from their campaigning and said it was definitely not an insider.
It has created a new account @MYANC and reported it to
Twitter, said Kodwa.
Oppostion leader Mmusi Maimane took the Democratic
Alliance's voter registration drive to several townships alongside its party's
mayoral candidate for Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba.
Maimane received a warm welcome, even posing for pictures
with supporters from different political parties dressed in their own party
On social networks, many voters reported that registration
processes had happened without any difficulties but for some an SMS from the
Electoral Commission (IEC) asking them to check whether their addresses were registered,
"IEC confirmed via SMS I was registered to vote at
Northcliff Primary. 2 days ago the IEC sent me a sms requesting to update
residential address details. Checked on their webpage... registered but no
address details. So off to Northcliff Primary this morning to find that I AM
NOT EVEN ON THEIR LIST OF VOTERS...." Lynette Visagie wrote on a Facebook
Earlier this week, the IEC announced that it had sent text
messages to approximately 5.3 million registered voters for whom no address
details are currently available on the voters’ roll as part efforts to update
and enhance the voters’ roll ahead of elections.
"The initiative follows the Constitutional Court ruling
in November last year in the Tlokwe matter that a voter’s address or sufficient
particularities of their place of residence were essential to ensure that the
voter is registered in the correct voting district.
"The SMS messages inform these voters that no address
is currently available for them in the Electoral Commission’s records and urges
them to visit their voting station this weekend to update their address
details. In line with best marketing practice, the SMS allows voters to “opt
out” of receiving further SMS communications from the Electoral
But many voters said they did not understand how the IEC
could not have had their addresses when they had voted at the same locations in
One Facebook user said after first confirming that she was
registered, she was later informed to go and register in another district which
is further away than her usual voting station. She questioned whether she was
automatically taken off the roll at the voting station she had always used, or
whether someone would be able to fraudulently cast another vote on her behalf
in that area.
Late voting stations
Meanwhile the IEC had reported that the majority of voter
registration stations which opened late were in Vhembe in Limpopo.
It was understood in one area, some residents were
disgruntled about the name change of their municipality.
The IEC said there was also protest action reported in Paarl
in the Western Cape, Ntabankulu and Mthatha in the Eastern Cape and four voting
stations in Kwazulu-Natal in Ladysmith, Umfolozi and Escourt.
Meanwhile, in Kapok in the south of Johannesburg,
registration got off to a shaky start when IEC officials received an unpleasant
welcome as residents blockaded roads with burning tyres and rocks.
The locals were protesting over service delivery.
The IEC tent was eventually erected and manned under heavy
Voters have another chance to register when stations open
again on Sunday.