The Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced voter registration for the October Local Government Elections will be held on the weekend of 17-18 July 2021.
In a statement, the Commission said on this weekend all 23 146 voting stations around the country will open from 8am to 5pm to assist new voters to register and existing voters to check and, where necessary, update their registration details.
In the lead-up to this weekend, the IEC said it would embark on a nationwide voter education and awareness campaign. This, it said, would be to encourage all eligible voters to make sure they are ready to participate in the elections scheduled to be held on 27 October 2021.
“This campaign will span a variety of multimedia platforms including television, radio, outdoor and digital media along with targeted interventions aimed specifically at young, first-time voters. These will include registration initiatives at schools, tertiary education campuses and other opportunities,” reads the statement.
IEC said the 17-18 July weekend would be the only general voter registration opportunity for voters to register and check their registration at their voting stations.
“However, on-going voter registration will continue during working hours at local IEC offices until the proclamation of the elections,” they said.
In addition, registered voters will still be able to amend their registration details through the “Click, Check, Confirm” functionality on the website of the Electoral Commission. The facility was introduced in 2018 and has been used by over 350 000 voters to update their details.
In order to register as a voter, citizens must be at least 16-years-old, a South African in possession of a valid South African ID document – either a green barcoded ID book or a smartcard ID.
“Voters are reminded that they must be registered at a voting station in the ward in which they are ordinarily resident and must provide an address or detailed description of a place of residence. However, proof of address (e.g. in the form of a utilities account) is not required for registration.”
The IEC said voters visiting a voting station in person to register or update their details should wear a mask or appropriate face covering and observe social distancing.
“Hand sanitizing facilities as well as stationery will be provided at each voting station. Voters wishing to bring their own pen are encouraged to do so even though pens will be provided and sanitized routinely,” the IEC said.
Eligible voters can find out more about where, when and how to register by visiting the Electoral Commission website at www.elections.org.za. From June the LGE 2021 Contact Centre (0800 11 8000) will also be available to assist voters via phone and email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Voters will also be assisted on the Electoral Commission’s Facebook page and Twitter account (@IECSouthAfrica).
Existing voters can check their current registration details on the website or by SMSing their ID number to 32810 (cost R1).
The Electoral Commission also urged all eligible voters – and especially first-time voters – to make use of the one-and-only registration weekend or the online portal to prepare to vote in October this year.
“Voters who have moved house since the last election as well as those with incorrect, incomplete or missing addresses are especially urged to update their details. We also call upon all political parties, candidates, civil society organisations, the media, business and labour organisations, faith-based organisations and all other stakeholders to join together to encourage voter registration and participation among their staff, clientele, customers and followers,” the Commission said.