Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister David Van Rooyen has urged South Africans to register to vote in the upcoming Local Government Elections before the voters’ roll closes.
The Minister said this when he briefed the media ahead of tabling the department’s Budget Vote policy statement in the National Assembly on Tuesday morning.
“It would be wrong for us to conclude the speech today without encouraging all South Africans to use the period until the proclamation of the election date in the Government Gazette to register to vote, as well as update their details on the voters’ roll, inclusive of providing their addresses.
“Once the voters’ roll is closed, we urge South Africans to go out in their numbers to vote in the 3 August 2016 Local Government Elections,” he said.
The department’s Deputy Minister, Andries Nel, said by law, the Electoral Commission (IEC) usually requires a period of 70 to 90 days between the proclamation date and election day.
He said a lot of progress has been made by government to ensure that the country is ready for the fourth democratic Local Government Elections.
The Minister said since the electoral judgment on Tlokwe on the issue of voters who are on the voters’ roll without registered residential addresses, government – through the work done by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on elections – has begun assigning geo-coded identifiers to those without addresses.
In a briefing last month, Minister Van Rooyen said they would have liked to proclaim the election date soon after the announcement of the election date. However, they are awaiting the important Constitutional Court decision on the clarification of the issue of the challenge relating to citizens and households without formal addresses.
“We are confident that the Constitutional Court decision on the 9th of May will provide clarification relating to citizens and households without formal addresses. The proclamation of the election date in the Government Gazette will follow the decision of the Constitutional Court.
“As the government responsible for local government, we have worked closely with the IEC in preparation of the Local Government Elections,” he said.
Minister Van Rooyen said around 12 million out of approximately 26 million voters are currently affected by the address issue.