CAPE TOWN – The Electoral Commission in the Western Cape is calling on all eligible voters to register or re-register if their details have changed through the Online Voter Registration facility available 24/7 to existing and first-time voters.
The provinces 1 577 voting stations and registration venues from 8am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.
In May the IEC in the province indicated that 3 million people were registered to vote with 3 490 being teens aged 18 to 19-year-old, and they are hoping to increase this figure with the upcoming registration weekend.
“In light of this, the Online Voter Registration facility is part of the Electoral Commission’s on-going commitment to provide greater accessibility and convenience to voters. It follows the implementation of a range of other digital service channels over the past 5 years including Online Candidate Nominations, Online Special Vote applications and Online Party Funding declarations. “We encourage voters with the means and data to assist friends and family to register or check and update their voters’ roll addresses online.”
CPUT Political Analyst Dr Kuhle Zwakala said no “traffic” was expected at the polls.
“Even though the previous local government elections were fiercely contested, the majority of citizens have generally lost interest due to lack of basic services in municipalities, particularly the youth hence they resort to mass demonstrations.
“The lack of interest can also be attributed to what appears to be a lack of an alternative party. Opposition party led local governments in Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay have been characterised by instability over the past few years. Moreover, the registration points will turn to campaign platforms for political parties, where political party members will outnumber the ‘undecided’ voters,” he said.
UWC political analyst Keith Gottschalk said the outcome of this election would be interesting as in the latest public opinion poll, showing 49% for the ANC, 17% for the DA, and 14% for the EFF, significantly differs from the most recent municipal elections in 2016.
Voters shared mixed emotions going into the voting registration weekend on Monday.
Sisanda Flepu, 42, from Mfuleni said she will be registering this weekend, and this was the second time she will be voting.
This while Zamani Ngolo, 25, of Langa said he will not be casting his vote this year.
“The reason is clear, I don’t have hope, I don’t feel like there will be any changes in the state of our country.
“You can see the state of the country now, the vision that was drafted upon the last election, is not what is happening now.
“I would love it if we could have another way of voicing out our voices, not just on the ballot paper, that is not enough,” Ngolo said.