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Final chance for voters to register

PRETORIA: The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will this weekend open their 22,263 voting stations for a final registration drive which it hopes will attract 1.1m people.
A voter registration drive will be held countrywide this weekend. Image: IEC
The voter registration which takes place on Saturday (8 February) and Sunday (9 February) throughout the country is the final opportunity for new voters to register and for registered voters to change their voting station ahead of the 2014 national and provincial elections.

President Jacob Zuma is expected to announce the election date shortly after the registration weekend.

IEC's Chairperson Pansy Tlakula's appealed to unregistered voters to use the weekend to register and verify their details.

"Our country needs you - the future of our democracy is in your hands," she told a media briefing on Thursday (6 February).

At present, 24,112,414 voters representing 76.7% of eligible voters are registered, but the IEC is hoping for a million more during this weekend's final registration drive. If this happens,overall registration will reach 80%.

The Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape have the highest registration percentages - all at 80% and over, while Gauteng has the lowest with 72.1%.

New voters needed

Just over a million new voters were added to the voters' roll after the last registration weekend in November last year and a further 1.5m voters updated their registration details.

For citizens living abroad, Tlakula has encouraged them to ensure that their applications are received by close of business on Friday (7 February). To date the IEC has received 3,703 applications for registrations from about 70 missions.

"We are still receiving more each day and processing these. The highest number of applications has come from London, Dubai and Cuba," she said, adding that registration at correctional services across the country was also going smoothly.

The IEC has set aside three days - from Wednesday (5 February) until Friday (7 February) for inmates to register at 235 correctional facilities across the country.

With regards to 'hot spot' communities, which have seen violent public protests, Tlakula said they have partnered and engaged with security forces, political parties and community leaders to ensure all South Africans can exercise their right to register.

"I can assure that all our voting stations will be open from 8am to 5pm over the weekend for people to register."

To help attract the voters and reach the set target, Tlakula said they launched a communication campaign using "celebrities" to share their reasons why the youth should register and vote.

"Further we have collaborated with some radio stations through the country who will be broadcasting outside some voting stations over the weekend."

To check if you are registered, you can send an SMS with your ID number to 32810. You can also check your voter registration details online at Elections; or call 0800-11-800 toll-free from a landline. Voters can also check details at the local Municipal Electoral Offices during offices.

SOURCE is a South African government news service, published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). (formerly BuaNews) was established to provide quick and easy access to articles and feature stories aimed at keeping the public informed about the implementation of government mandates.
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