Home News Voter registration weekend for municipal ward by-elections

Voter registration weekend for municipal ward by-elections

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In the Northern Cape, by-elections will be held in Hantam, Khâi-Ma, Ubuntu, Renosterberg, Kai !Garib, Tsantsabane, Dawid Kruiper and Phokwane municipalities.

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VOTER registration will be held this weekend for the municipal ward by-elections scheduled to take place in several Northern Cape municipalities on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.

According to Electoral Commission (IEC) spokesperson Kate Bapela, a total of 96 municipal ward by-elections will take place in 56 municipalities across all nine provinces, affecting more than 600,000 registered voters.

In the Northern Cape, by-elections will be held in Hantam, Khâi-Ma, Ubuntu, Renosterberg, Kai !Garib, Tsantsabane, Dawid Kruiper and Phokwane municipalities.

Voting stations in the affected wards will be open this Saturday, October 3, 2020, and Sunday, October 4, 2020, from 8am to 5pm, to allow all eligible voters to register and for current voters to check their registration details and to provide/update address details where necessary.

Voters who are already registered can also check their registration status online at www.elections.org.za/ieconline/ if they have internet access, or SMS their ID number to 32810 at a cost of R1 per SMS. Voters can also use these facilities to check if they are affected by the by-elections.

Voters are further reminded to take their identity documents (IDs) with them – either a green barcoded ID book, a smartcard ID, or a valid temporary ID certificate. They will also need to complete their physical home address on registration or provide sufficient particularities of their place of residence.

“Documented proof of address (eg a municipal account) is not required. Voters are reminded that it is a criminal offence to register and vote in a ward in which they are not ordinarily resident,” Bapela said.

She added that the by-elections would be held under strict new Covid-19 protocols aimed at ensuring the safety of voters, election staff, party agents, observers and other stakeholders. “These include implementing strict social distancing practices outside and inside voting stations along with the use of hand sanitisers as voters enter and exit the voting station.”

Voters, election staff and all those entering the voting station will be required to wear a mask at all times. Voters are also encouraged to bring their own pens to mark their ballot papers, although pens will be provided and sanitised after each use.

“As announced last week, the Electoral Commission plans to clear the backlog of all outstanding by-elections simultaneously on November 11, 2020. By-elections have not been held since March 2020 following the declaration of a National State of Disaster and the imposition of the lockdown restrictions intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“Since then, 96 ward vacancies in 56 municipalities have occurred including two dissolved councils in the Northern Cape where proportional representation (PR) candidates must also be elected (nine PR seats in Phokwane and three PR seats in Renosterberg).”

The scheduling of by-elections follows the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the country will move to alert Level 1 which includes the lifting of restrictions on political activities.

Special voting will take place at voting stations as well as through home visits on November 10, 2020 between 8am and 5pm. Voters wishing to apply to cast a special vote can apply at their local IEC office during office hours between October 26 and 30, 2020.

Applications for special votes can also be made online via the IEC’s website, www.elections.org.za. Once voters have applied online they will receive an SMS notifying them of the outcome when their application has been processed. They can also check the status of their special vote application online at www.elections.org.za.

Voters can also apply for special votes via cellphone by SMSing their identity number to 32249 (charged at R1). The SMS application facility is only available for those applying to cast a special vote at their voting station and not for home visits.

For more information on these by-elections, voters can contact their local (municipal) IEC office weekdays during office hours. Contact details for all IEC offices are available on the IEC website at www.elections.org.za under ‘Contact Us’.