South Africans have until Friday to register to vote

Failure to register will mean one cannot vote on the day.
Failure to register will mean one cannot vote on the day.

South Africans have until Friday to register to vote for the upcoming national and provincial elections.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday declared May 29 as the polling date.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) welcomed the announcement, saying it will have to pull out all the stops in preparation.

The IEC has held two voter registrations weekends and ran a registration campaign locally and abroad, with 27.6-million registered voters so far.

The commission reminds South Africans that, while the date has been set and announced, eligible voters have until February 23 to register. The date is the anticipated day of the proclamation of the election date,” the IEC said.

Those who still want to register to vote can visit the IEC’s offices in their municipality or use the electoral body’s online portal.

Registrations will close on Friday after which the election date will be proclaimed and gazetted.

“Following the proclamation of the election date, the commission will publish the election timetable in the Government Gazette after consultation with the national party liaison committee. The timetable will outline the cut-off dates for the performance of electoral activities.

“The commission reminds eligible voters of the general rule in elections. That is, a person must register where they live and vote at the voting station where they are registered. The only exception to the rule is that a voter may vote outside the voting district of registration upon notifying the commission by a date to be regulated by the timetable.”

The timetable will detail dates on which political parties that have registered to contest the elections have to submit their candidates' nominations for public representatives in parliament and provincial legislatures.

The timetable will also be a certification of the voters' roll, will publish details of voting stations, call for applications for special votes and submission of notice to vote abroad.

This will be the first time South Africans will have an opportunity to vote for independent candidates at national level.

It means the ballot paper will look different as it will bear not only the logos of political parties, but also the faces of independent candidates.



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