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IEC doesn't have enough cash to fund two more national registration weekends

In a written reply to a Parliamentary question from the DA, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says the IEC is having to delay and put projects on hold, to fund registration campaigns.

FILE: IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo (C) briefs the media on Tuesday 13 March 2018 on the first voter registration of 2018. Picture: Clement Manyathela/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is preparing for next year’s national elections strapped for cash.

It says it doesn’t have enough money to fund two more national registration weekends.

A date for next year’s elections is yet to be set, but all indications are that it is likely to be in May.

In a written reply to a Parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance (DA), Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says the IEC is having to delay and put projects on hold, to fund registration campaigns.

National Treasury allocated R630 million in this financial year for two main registration weekends and election related activities.

But the IEC says because of a lack of funding to rectify addresses on the national voters roll stemming from a Constitutional Court ruling, it’s had to use R211 million intended for registration weekends, to get the job done.

The R135 million shortfall is being funded by delaying and reprioritising other projects.

The IEC says while it’s an imperative to have at least three electoral staff members at each voting station during registration campaigns, it can now only afford two.

The last registration drive in March, cost the IEC R219.6 million.

The estimated cost for the next registration drive in February is almost double that amount, at R419 million.

The IEC says it will need extra staff at each voting station to harvest voters' addresses, and for training on how to use new voter registration devices.

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