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Voter registration next big step for IEC as it gears up for 2019 elections

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it is more than ready for the upcoming elections because plans from 18 months ago are now beginning to come to fruition.

A screengrab of the IEC's chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo giving an update on voter registration in Midrand, Johannesburg. Picture: YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG – The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it is more than ready for the upcoming elections because plans from 18 months ago are now beginning to come to fruition.

About 21.5 million people are on the voters roll with complete addresses for the upcoming election.

President Ramaphosa is yet to announce the date for the elections.

Mamabolo says the next important step will be ensuring voters register.

“On 26th and 27th January, it will be an important milestone because we’re going to give every South African the possibility to firstly confirm the correctness of their details and for those applicants who have never enlisted as voters before, to take advantage of the opportunity to enlist themselves.”

Meanwhile, the IEC says it's working with various law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety and security of the registration and voting process for the 2019 elections.

The IEC's Sy Mamabolo says that an elections priority commission has been set up to oversee the security of the polls during the registration and voting processes.

“Every voting station will be profiled to assess the level of threat that may be associated with that voting station.”

Mamabolo says what remains a concern is potential volatility in communities such as Vuwani where municipal elections were disrupted back in 2016.

“We really would wish for that matter to be addressed and resolved before we get to the elections.”

The IEC says it has seen an increase in registration in districts across the country, compared to previous elections.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)