UPDATE | Elections 2021: Just under half a million voters registered by the end of Saturday

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Voter registration is going smoothly, the IEC says.
Voter registration is going smoothly, the IEC says.
Darren Stewart/Gallo Images
  • Just under half a million South Africans have, so far, visited voter registration stations.
  • The IEC says 98% of its stations opened on time.
  • South Africans are able to register to vote and to update their voter registration details this weekend.

At the close of registration on Saturday, a total number of 488 670 had registered across the 23 151 voting stations for the forthcoming municipal elections.

The use of the new voter management devices means the reported transactions are already processed into the voters' roll with corresponding addresses.

Previously, the system would capture addresses and would need to perform a national population verification procedure.

Earlier in the day, the IEC's chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, said thousands visited voting stations to register, re-register, and to update their registration and address details.

READ | Elections 2021: All you need to know

Mamabolo addressed a press briefing on Saturday to outline the latest voter registration figures.

"The commission is impressed by the turnout and urges South Africans to continue to go out in their numbers to register. We are making a special plea to first-time voters to take the patriotic step to make their mark in history by voting in the forthcoming elections.

"The commission is happy to report that over 98% of our stations opened on time and were able to use material, which was delivered on time, to start registering voters," Mamabolo said.

A total of 53 voting stations did not open on time, Mamabolo said.

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"This was, in the main, due to service delivery protests by communities seeking to use the registration weekend to draw attention to their issues. In almost all the incidents, the commission, working with the police and local leaders, was able to resolve the problems and registration continued or is in the process of establishing operations," he said.

Most of the service delivery protests were in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, and Soweto, Gauteng.

Saturday was the first time the IEC used its new voter management devices.

"We are also happy to report that our new and exciting technology, introduced in the registration process, is working well, despite the teething problems experienced in the first two hours of this morning.


"The commission picked up a technical problem in the new voter management devices (VMDs), which are being used for the first time on a mass scale during this registration weekend," Mamabolo said.

READ | Elections 2021: IEC, DA in court battle over reopening of candidate registration process

He said a "deliberate decision" was taken to operate the VMDs in an offline mode to resolve a glitch in the mapping functionality.

"It is important to note this has always been part of the plan to operate offline when operational circumstances so demand. Consequently, there has not been any service disruptions at the registration stations.

"While we were in an offline mode, the VMDs continued to capture the registration details of applicants, and a total of 48 089 were captured. Currently, the data transferred into the main database from registration stations is 104 000," he added.

READ ALSO | Elections 2021: IEC ready for registration weekend, wants voting day to be declared a public holiday

Voters needing IDs can visit home affairs department offices and certain banks across the country.

Voters, who are registered, can confirm their registration online on the website, on the IEC app, or by calling the contact centre at 0800 11 8000. Furthermore, an identity number can be sent to 32810 via text.

Click here to find your voting station.

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