SABC News - IEC working to have all addresses of 26 million registered voters:Wednesday 11 October 2017

IEC working to have all addresses of 26 million registered voters

Wednesday 11 October 2017 18:50

Phumzile Mlangeni

The IEC managed to capture addresses of  19 million registered voters so far.

The IEC managed to capture addresses of 19 million registered voters so far. (SABC)

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it does not want to speculate whether it will meet the June 2018 deadline to have all addresses of the 26 million registered voters.

In 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that the commission should be in possession of all addresses of voters to ensure free and fair elections.

The commission has so far managed to capture addresses of 19 million voters since June 2016. It has now launched an online drive to get all registered voters' addresses by June.

While the IEC has managed to capture addresses of 19 out of 26 million, there are still 7 million outstanding addresses. Of the 7 million, 3 million do not have addresses while the remaining 4 million have incomplete or generic addresses.

Newly-appointed Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo says acquiring the remaining addresses has been a challenge due to inward migration among others.

“Given our history of uneven development as a society, there are areas which are formalised in the country. They remain a significant proportion of the county which is informal. So, that itself presents a problem because in those areas which are not formalised you have to use informal descriptors and so on. That already presents you with a challenge. However, South Africa has a mobile population.”

The IEC is on a drive to make sure all registered voters are captured before the deadline

Mamabolo says they can't tell at this stage whether they would have reached all voters by June 2018.

“Will we reach 100% by June next year? I think it's a matter on which it would be imprudent at this stage to speculate. But our dispossession as an institution is, 'let's do everything to ensure that every person for whom we have no address we actually get the address.'”

The IEC is on a drive to make sure all registered voters are captured before the deadline. 

Registered voters are urged to update or confirm their addresses on its website. 

The IEC is also getting assistance from institutions such as Statistics South Africa and SASSA.

"The voters' roll is more than a register of voters. It is a foundation of free and fair elections. If the voters' roll is questionable then all aspects of the election will suffer from its inadequacies and shortcomings. It is, therefore, vital for all stakeholders to help us of ensuring the voters' roll is reliable, accurate and up to date,” says Deputy Electoral Officer Terry Tselane.

Treasury has already committed R180 million to assist with the address harvesting initiative and there are plans to open voting stations for those who don't have access to the internet.

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