Voter registration: Police deployed in Vuwani as tensions rise

2019-01-26 16:39
A Nyala police vehicle spotted in Vuwani in 2017. (File photo: Chester Makana, News24)

A Nyala police vehicle spotted in Vuwani in 2017. (File photo: Chester Makana, News24)

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Contingents of police officers have been deployed in Vuwani, Limpopo, where residents threatened to disrupt voter registration this weekend and the upcoming general elections over a dispute of municipal demarcation.

Provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, said while Vuwani was experiencing tensions, police were also deployed at all other registration stations across the province.

The Makhado Demarcation Task Team (MDTT), which is leading the protest in the area, has encouraged residents to boycott the registration process as way to have their demands resolved.

Residents are demanding that their area be returned under the Makhado Local Municipality jurisdiction. The area was incorporated under the newly established Collins Chabane Local Municipality five years ago.

The move sparked violence in which almost 30 schools were torched. 

MDTT chairperson, Arnold Mulaudzi, said registration stations are opened but "no one is going there".

In the meantime, political parties in Limpopo sharpened their election campaign machinery as they vie for first-time potential voters to register this weekend.

Low turnout of first-time voters

However, the parties remained concerned that the potential new first-time voters were not availing themselves to registration stations in large numbers as they expected.

ANC deputy president David Mabuza, who is also the deputy president of the country, was also in the province trying to woo potential voters. He went on a door-to-door campaign in the Giyani area.

The party’s provincial spokesperson, Donald Selamolela, said the party's agents have been deployed across the province to encourage people to register and to also check their status.

"The leadership is also on the ground and so far the process is going well," Selamolela said.

EFF provincial leader, Jossey Buthane, also expressed concern on the low turnout of potential voters across the province..

"We did our own rounds and the process is still slow. Perhaps it’s that people are still bogged down by some personal businesses and they will make themselves available at a later stage," Buthane said.

DA provincial leader, Jacques Smalle, was also canvassing for the first-time voters, together with the party’s national youth leader, Luyolo Mphithi.

"This provides an opportunity for new voters to register," Smalle said.   

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Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  vuwani  |  polokwane  |  voter registration
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