Call to all South African voters to visit voting stations on 10 and 11 March 2018

The Electoral Commission urges all South Africa’s eligible voters to visit their voting stations over the weekend of 10 and 11 March 2018 as part of a national campaign to update the voters’ roll in preparation for the 2019 elections.

All 22 612 voting stations around the country will open for the public between 08h00 and 17h00 over the weekend to:
• assist new voters to register; 
• allow already registered voters who have moved since they registered to re-register in their correct voting district; and 
• allow registered voters whose address details are not on the voters’ roll to provide this information.

The Electoral Commission has made an early start to the preparations of the 2019 elections. These elections are expected between May and August 2019. Critically, this registration weekend is a milestone towards the culmination of a two-year project to obtain addresses for all registered voters. It is an opportunity to ensure that voters are registered in the correct voting district segments. South Africans might recall the ruling of the Constitutional Court in 2016 which gave the Electoral Commission until June 2018 to update the voters’ roll with all available addresses. Over the past two years the Electoral Commission has made significant progress in updating addresses on the voters’ roll including:
• Increasing the proportion of complete addresses from 34% of registered voters in March 2016 to 75% of registered voters currently;
• Reducing the proportion of incomplete or generic addresses from 34% in March 2016 to 14%; and
• Reducing the percentage of registered voters without any recorded address from 32% to approximately 11%.

This has resulted in the following voters’ roll statistics:
Voter’s roll category                                           Number of registered voters (30 November 2017)
Complete address                                                19 418 210 (75%)
REC AS address                                                  115 142 (0.4%)
Incomplete/generic address                                 3 551 266 (14%)
No recorded address                                            2 815 160 (11%)
Pre-December 2003 no recorded address           1 160 615 
Post-December 2003 no recorded address         1 654 545
Total registered voters                                          25 899 778

The Electoral Commission has sourced addresses using different initiatives including the following:
• The Electoral Commission reviewed records, files and archives to check and capture all addresses provided by voters over the past 20 years
• Collected addresses during the 2016 municipal elections from voters who did not have addresses on the voters roll 
• Undertaken field work ahead of registration weekends for by-elections. Where necessary, this has included moving voters found to be registered in the incorrect voting districts as provided for by Section 12 (1)(d) of the Electoral Act.
• We have received and used, where possible, address data from other state sources such as STATS SA, SASSA, Telkom, Post Office, and Department of Home Affairs. 
• In October 2017 the Electoral Commission launched an on-line facility for registered voters with internet access to review and/or provide their address via www.elections.org.za. This was accompanied by a national advertising initiative.

Having done all of the above, the Electoral Commission still does not as yet have addresses for the 2.8 million voters. We have a further 3.5 million addresses that are currently classified as “incomplete” or “generic”. This category requires further analysis to ascertain whether there is any further detail available.
Chief Electoral Officer, Sy Mamabolo urged all voters to make every effort to visit their voting station during the weekend of the 10 and 11 March 2018. “The voters’ roll is the bedrock of electoral integrity. Its quality is the foundation for credible, free and fair elections. This includes making sure all eligible voters are registered in the correct segment of the voters’ roll. The requisite quality of the voters’ roll is depended on the support and participation of voters and all stakeholders.”  

He further called upon all people in South African as individuals, political parties, civic organisations, NGOs, activists, the media, traditional leaders, faith-based organizations to ensure the success of the weekend. “The voters’ roll is a national asset. It requires constant maintenance, constant updating, constant checking to retain its currency and its quality.”  

“If you are active on social media tell your followers about the importance of having an accurate and up-to-date voters’ roll. Urge them to check their registration details on the voters roll on 10 and 11 March 2018. Encourage all new and first-time voters to register over the weekend. South Africa citizens aged 16 and older and in possession of an official ID can register as voters.”

In support of the drive to encourage voters to make use of the weekend, the Electoral Commission has launched a national advertising campaign under the slogan: “Let’s address the voters’ roll!” The campaign includes a television advert in which well-known South African celebrities join in urging all citizens to update the voters’ roll.

The Contact Centre (0800 11 8000) has been activated Monday to Friday during office hours to assist voters to find their correct voting station and to answer any queries.

Registered voters can also SMS their ID number to 32810 to receive an SMS containing the address of their voting station (charged at R1)

The online facility (available at https://www.elections.org.za/MyIEC/Account/Register) remains open for registered voters with access to the internet to update and review their address online. These voters are also being urged to update their details before the end of May 2018

Voters visiting their voting station should must please remember to take their bar-coded  green ID book, smart card ID or valid temporary ID certificate. They will be assisted to complete a registration form providing their home address at which they ordinarily reside which will allow the Electoral Commission to place them in the correct voting district. Proof of residence is NOT required.

“We are ready to open all the voting stations in March to make it easy and convenient for all voters to update their registration details on the voters’ roll. But we need voters to show up and make use of the opportunity.”

ISSUED BY THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Ensuring free and fair elections

Centurion
06 February 2018

For media queries: Please contact Kate Bapela on 082 600 6386
For media interviews: Please email requests to spokesperson@elections.org.za

Also find the IEC on –
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/IECSouthAfrica
- Twitter: @IECSouthAfrica
- You Tube: www.youtube.com/user/IECSouthAfrica