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Dept hopes ‘sanity will prevail’ in legal battle over voters’ roll

The Cooperative Governance Dept has already said postponing the 3 August elections is not an option.

FILE:Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials during voter registration weekend. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Cooperative Governance Department is hoping sanity will prevail in the legal battle over the integrity of the country's voters' roll as August's local government elections draw near.

In November last year, the Constitutional Court ordered that by-elections in Tlokwe be re-run and that voters' addresses had to be reflected on the roll.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has said it could take up until 2019 to clean up the voters' roll, on which about 12 million names have incomplete or absent addresses.

Deputy Cooperative Governance Minister Andries Nel says he was among those to find his address was not reflected on the voters' roll.

"Now we can imagine what could happen if, come election day, millions of people are turned away because they discovered that there's not an address next to them, and I think that's the very strong argument other political parties, government departments are taken to the Constitutional Court."

The Constitutional Court is expected to clarify what the IEC needs to do to ensure South Africans are lawfully registered.

Postponing the 3 August elections is not an option, according to Minister Des Van Rooyen.

Van Rooyen delivered his department's budget vote in Parliament yesterday.