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IEC prepares for day 2 after disruptions at some registration stations

The commission had to close some stations due to ongoing service protests in some areas.

FILE: An Independent Electoral Commission official registers a voter on Sunday 6 March 2016. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it hopes to open all its voter registration stations across the country on Sunday, after it experienced isolated disruptions on the first leg of the registration drive on Saturday.

The commission had to close some stations due to ongoing service protests in some areas.

Voting stations in Katlehong on the East Rand, the troubled Vuwani in Limpopo and Marikana in the North West were among those affected.

The IEC says it managed to open all stations in Vuwani on Saturday.

At the same time, in the Western Cape, two voting stations had to be closed due to protest action in Dunoon and Gugulethu in Cape Town.

The Western Cape's provincial electoral head Courtney Sampson says service delivery protest occurred at the two registration points.

“We cannot have a situation where IEC workers are threatened, or there are threats to burn their cars or IEC banners are torn down. Then we will have to make a special decision.”

The IEC says while security is necessary, it doesn’t want to militarise the process because it needs free and fair registration process.

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo says: “It’s important that we don’t securitise the elections registration. We must have security to the extent necessary, but we can’t have an oversupply of security around the electoral process.”

Mamabolo has emphasised that voters are not obliged to bring proof of residence when registering or updating their information.

“Voters should bring their smart ID, green bar-coded ID book or temporary ID.”

The IEC says the stations will only reopen if the situation is calm on Sunday.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on South Africans to register to vote at their nearest IEC station across the country.

Ramaphosa accompanied struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to confirm her credentials at the Orlando West High School in Soweto yesterday.

This was after the president verified his details at the Hitekani Primary School in the same area.

He took a 5km walk on Saturday morning with residents to promote a healthy lifestyle.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)