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MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS 2021 Voters are reminded that they must be registered at a voting station in the ward in which they are a ordinarily resident and must provide an address or detailed description of a place of residence. However, proof of address (e.g. in the form of a utilities account) is NOT required for registration. Voters who have moved house since the last election as well as those with incorrect, incomplete or missing addresses are especially urged to update their details. Voters visiting a voting station in person to register or update their details are reminded that they must wear a mask or appropriate face covering and observe social distancing. Hand sanitizing facilities as well as stationery will be provided at each voting station. Voters wishing to bring their own pen are encouraged to do so even though pens will be provided and sanitized routinely. Despite the tight timeframes, Moseneke said the process must be conducted rapidly and robustly “to consider and assess all factors that may affect or influence the freeness and fairness of the upcoming elections”. When is the national voter registration weekend? The Electoral Commission announced that the national voter registration weekend ahead of the upcoming Local Government Elections will be held on 17–18 July 2021. Voters are reminded that for this election the 17-18 July weekend is the ONLY general voter registration opportunity for voters to register and check their registration at their voting stations. However, ongoing voter registration will continue during working hours at local IEC offices until the proclamation of the elections. In the lead-up to this weekend, the Electoral Commission will embark on a nationwide voter education and awareness campaign to encourage all eligible voters to make sure they are ready to participate in the elections scheduled to be held on 27 October 2021.

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This campaign will span a variety of multimedia platforms including television, radio, outdoor and digital media along with targeted interventions aimed specifically at young, first-time voters. These will include registration initiatives at schools, tertiary education campuses and other opportunities. In addition, registered voters will still be able to amend their registration details through the “Click, Check, Confirm” functionality on the website of the Electoral Commission. The facility was introduced in 2018 and has been used by over 350 000 voters to update their details. Over the weekend all 23 146 voting stations around the country will open from 8am to 5pm to assist new voters to register and existing voters to check and, where necessary, update their registration details. Who can vote and what is the voting protocol during COVID-19? In order to register as a voter, you must be at least 16 years old, a South African citizen and in possession of a valid South African ID document – either a green barcoded ID book or a smartcard ID.

Where can I get more information? Eligible voters can find out more about where, when and how to register by visiting the Electoral Commission website at www.elections.org.za. From June the LGE 2021 Contact Centre (0800 11 8000) will also be available to assist voters via phone and email (info@elections.org.za). Voters will also be assisted on the Electoral Commission’s Facebook page and Twitter account (@IECSouthAfrica). Existing voters can check their current registration details on the website or by SMSing their ID number to 32810 (cost R1). The Electoral Commission urges all eligible voters – and especially first-time voters – to make use of the one-and-only registration weekend or the online portal to prepare to vote in October this year. The IEC calls all political parties, candidates, civil society organisations, the media, business and labour organisations, faithbased organisations and all other stakeholders to join together to encourage voter registration and participation among their staff, clientele, customers and followers. Let’s register to vote South Africa!

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Municipal Focus Volume 52  

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