IEC: We won’t be intimidated by Kapok protesters

Residents barricaded roads leading into the area earlier this morning in a bid to keep the IEC out.

IEC officials set up a voter registration station in Kapok following a protest by residents in the area on 9 April 2016. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials say they will not be intimidated by protesting Kapok residents and will ensure a registration point in the area remains open today.

Residents barricaded roads leading into the informal settlement earlier this morning in a bid to keep the IEC out.

Last month, residents chased IEC staff away during demonstrations over a lack of service delivery.

Angry Kapok residents have again started burning tyres and demonstrating.

Residents say they're tired of empty political promises and have vowed not to vote in the upcoming local government elections.

Community Leader Hazel Scholtz said, "I have been here 21 years and I've been voting but there's nothing happening here."

But the IEC's Masego Sheburi says not everyone holds the same view.

"We are constitutionally bound to provide a service for those who want to participate."

While he and other IEC officials opened a registration point, there has been little activity.

Police assisted the officials to set up the voter registration station.

Meanwhile, residents who are up in arms over the lack of basic services in the informal settlement, are expected to meet soon.

Police officers are monitoring the situation.

IEC HOPES FOR BUSY WEEKEND

The IEC is expecting a busy weekend as thousands of registration points opened their doors to the public.

The IEC has sent out notifications to five million people, requesting them to update their address details.

The commission is trying to comply with an electoral court ruling that the voters' roll should contain addresses, to ensure people vote where they live.

The IEC's vice chairperson, Terry Tselane, said, "We urge every person who has received an SMS to please go to the registration station, it's very easy - they can just go onto our website and fill in the form online, print it and deliver it at our registration stations."

People can register between 8am and 5pm today and tomorrow.