Johannesburg – The government is calling on South Africans who are eligible to register to vote this weekend.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa is holding its first voter registration today and tomorrow, (18 and 19 November 2023).
South Africa is heading for national and provincial elections in 2024.
The right to vote remains precious; it is a culmination of years of sacrifice and struggle for our freedom.
“The struggle for freedom secured the right for every South African to be active participants in our democratic system, and by voting or registering to vote, South Africans choose to honour those who gave up their lives for the treasured right to cast their vote,” said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
“”Voting puts the power in the hands of citizens and is a way for them to use their voice to bring about their choices, by taking action and registering to vote, citizens can strengthen and bolster democracy based on their will.”
All voting stations across the country will be opened between 08:00 and 17:00 during the weekend of 18-19 November 2023 for people to register, change their registration details or verify their details.
Citizens are eligible to register to vote if they are:
• A South African citizen
• At least 16 years and older (you can only vote from age 18)
• In possession of a green bar-coded ID book, smart ID card or temporary identity certificate.
Eligible voters are also urged to check their registration status online at https://registertovote.elections.org.za or at their local IEC office and they can also find their voting station, on the Electoral Commission’s website, www.elections.org.za, or by calling their helpline on 0800 11 8000.
Citizens can also get voter registration and other election information by WhatsApping “hi” to 060 088 0000.
The Department of Home Affairs will be open between 08h00 and 17h00 today and tomorrow, (18 and 19 November 2023), to allow eligible voters to collect their IDs or to apply for temporary ID Certificates that enable them to register to vote for the 2024 national and provincial elections.
“We appeal to the youth, especially those who are eligible to vote for the first time, to take the first step and register to vote,” said GCIS Acting Director General, Nomonde Mnukwa.
“Voting puts the power in your hands and it is a way for every eligible citizen to use their voice to bring about change.
“The youth vote is central to the success of a well-functioning democracy.”
The GCIS said the government was committed to ensuring a peaceful voter registration weekend and it has instructed the South African Police Service to act swiftly and decisively against those who want to disrupt voter registrations.
“Although all plans are in place to ensure a peaceful voter registration weekend, it is also incumbent on citizens to play their part in maintaining the country’s track record of being a model democratic nation,” said the GCIS.
However, on Saturday there were reports of disturbances in some areas that prevented registration.
Eyewitness News reports that a service delivery protest in Soweto’s Protea Glen prevented residents from making their way to their local voting station.
The Electoral Commission (IEC) confirmed to Eyewitness News that there was a challenge in the area on Saturday morning.
This as over 23,000 stations are open for voter registration across the country throughout the weekend, ahead of the 2024 general elections.
IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said: “Where residents or people want to vote are experiencing safety issues, they must not hesitate to register online.”