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#Elections2016: Voter registration dented by protests

The IEC has reported disruptions in eight of the country's nine provinces.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) briefed the media about registration activity on day one. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says its voter registration drive has been dented by protests in several communities and officials are working closely with security forces and community leaders in all affected areas.

The commission has reported disruptions in eight of the country's nine provinces.

But the IEC's Mosotho Moepya says overall the drive is going well.

"The electoral commission is pleased to report that the vast majority of the 22,569 voting stations are fully operations and assisting eligible voters to register and to update their registration details."

Moepya said while the voter registration weekend is running relatively smoothly, there have been some challenges including the late opening of stations, backlogs with the SMS line used for checking registration details and protests.

In Gauteng, people have been demonstrating in George Goch, Denver and Ennerdale, while in the Western Cape, there have been disruptions in Khayelitsha.

The Gauteng IEC's Masego Sheburi says they are monitoring affected areas where protesters have prevented people from registering.

Police have been roped in to provide extra security in some affected areas.

Moepya says security forces will work alongside community leaders, political parties and other stakeholders to ensure safety at voter registration stations.

He's confirmed an IEC tent was set alight in Ennerdale last night.

"This morning we could not open a station because the landlord all of a sudden refused us entry into the facility because they had been intimidated. In Ennerdale we are operating out of tents and they were pitched yesterday but one of the tents was burnt down."

AFFECTED AREAS:

North West:

Mahikeng, Taung and Marikana.

Mpumalanga:

Bushbuckridge.

KwaZulu-Natal:

Ethekwini and Jozini.

Eastern Cape:

Nelson Mandela Bay, Butterworth & OR Tambo.

Northern Cape:

Pampierstad.

Free State:

Maluti-a-Phofung.

More than 85,000 people have visited the IEC's website so far this weekend and there have been more than 10,000 calls to its contact centre.