IEC may hold second registration drive

The IEC is looking at scheduling another voter registration drive in areas marred by protests.

Seven out of 12 registration stations were closed in Bekkersdal following clashes between community members and the police. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson Pansy Tlakula says the commission is looking into possibly scheduling another day of voter registrations in areas where residents were unable to register due to protest action.

Tlakula visited the troubled Bekkersdal community on Gauteng's West Rand on Sunday, where seven of the 12 stations had to be closed on Saturday due to disruptions and threats to IEC officials.

When Tlakula visited several stations in Bekkersdal with police officers, police had to fire two stun-grenades to bring protests under control.

Several roads were blocked with burning rubble and stones and Tlakula had to make her way through the area in a police Nyala.

She says despite this isolated incident of disruption due to service delivery protests, the weekend's registration process went down in the record books as one of the best.

"Had it not been for the few incidents we had on Sunday this would probably have been one of the most successful voter registration campaigns that we've had."

The final number of registrations recorded this weekend is still being assessed.


In Cape Town, the Department of Home Affairs assisted people to obtain their ID books required for registration.

A mobile office was stationed at a registration point in the Du Noon informal settlement during the registration drive on Saturday and Sunday.

Political parties in Du Noon said the biggest problem they'd experienced during the voter registration weekend was that most residents did not own IDs, but wanted to register.

Staffers from the department were busy in the area throughout the weekend to assist community members with their applications.


The IEC said it is satisfied with how the voter registration weekend proceeded.

IEC's Courtney Sampson said, "We've done our best. We are also quite pleased with the people who worked in the voting stations. The days have been long but we've set out to ensure that we have a voters' roll with integrity and with up to date information on it, because we need that when we approach the elections."

Mitchells Plain residents said they were keen to cast their ballots next year.

Beacon Valley resident Jennifer O'Ryan said, "I am taking this opportunity and casting my vote for the party that I think will best serve me."

The 2014 general elections will most likely take place sometime in April, but President Jacob Zuma is yet to announce the official date.