Did you get this SMS from the IEC? Here's what you need to do about it

By Mieke Vlok
11 April 2016

Even if you haven’t received one of these SMSes, it’s probably wise to check the IEC has your residential address.

Are you one of the confused voters whose weekend was ruined by an SMS from the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) that said they have no residential address for you?

Well, don’t panic. IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela explained to YOU who should take note of the SMS and what steps you can take to rectify the situation.

The SMS was sent to about 5,3 million registered voters. The IEC’s records apparently show up to 6,92 million people’s addresses are not confirmed on their system. Even if you haven’t received one of these SMSes it’s probably wise to check through one of the IEC’s official channels to see whether they do or don’t have your residential address.

Visit the website and enter your ID number.

You can also download the official elections app by looking for “IEC South Africa” on your cellphone’s app store or send an SMS with your ID number to 32810. It costs R1,00 per SMS.

If you log on and see a message which reads: “The address for holder of XXX may be incomplete. Kindly visit your local IEC office” it means the IEC is not sure of your address. This applies even if the screen says you are registered.

Fortunately you still have time to supply your address, Kate says. Click here  and choose your province to see where your nearest local office is. She advises voters do this sooner rather than later and explains the government will announce shortly before the official  municipal elections -- which take place on Wednesday 3 August this year -- that the voters’ roll will be closing soon. Watch this site to see when the roll closes.

She says especially voters who are voting for the first time this year or have moved house since the last election should make an effort to make their addresses known. Still, there are many voters who have lived at the same address for several years who must also supply their addresses. Remember to take your ID book along.

After complaints on Facebook, the IEC has apologised for any inconvenience the process may cause but says it is unfortunately necessary because they don’t want to turn registered voters away on polling day simply because they do not have their addresses. Having up-to-date addresses is compulsory by law.

“The Electoral Commission strongly believes that being compelled to remove registered voters for whom we do not have addresses in our possession will deny them their Constitutional right to vote. But we await the guidance from the Constitutional Court on this issue – which we hope to receive soon.

In the meantime, we do not want to merely sit back and wait for the outcome. Having up to date and accurate address information for voters is a legal requirement and enhances the accuracy and credibility of the voters’ roll – and thereby the integrity of the elections.”

If you have further questions about the municipal elections, click here.

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