Johannesburg – Thousands of potential voters heeded the government call and registered to vote on Saturday.
The Home Affairs Department on Sunday said 12 000 people registered on the first day of a two-day service delivery blitz in aid of the Voter Registration Weekend.
The department said it attended to SA citizens at its 268 offices and 103 mobile units that offered services on Saturday.
“We are extremely pleased by the turnout of people yesterday. Just under half of these people were first-time applicants who came to either collect or apply for their IDs,” said Home Affairs Deputy Minister Njabulo Nzuza.
“This means that they are ready to play their part in strengthening our democracy by registering to vote.”
Registration continues today, Sunday (19 November 2023).
Deputy Minister Nzuza said the department will continue to encourage the 135 000 first-time applicants who haven’t collected their IDs to return to collect them.
“The Department has dedicated collection service counters and introduced the Branch Appointment Booking System (BABS) to make it convenient for people to collect their IDs,” said Deputy Minister Nzuza.
Home Affairs offices are offering ID collections, ID applications, issuance of Temporary Identification Certificate, rectifications and clearing of referrals from the Independent Electoral Commission. People who came to collect their passports were also assisted.
The offices were scheduled to close at 17:00 but some in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal only closed at 18:00 after assisting everyone who came.
More than 3 350 people visited offices in KwaZulu-Natal. Another 1 950 people went to Home Affairs offices in the Western Cape.
Gauteng assisted 1 704 people.
More than 660 people applied for and received their Temporary Identification Certificates on the spot.
Most of them were in Gauteng, followed by KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.
Most of the 103 mobile offices are deployed in the Eastern Cape, with 15, while Limpopo and the Western Cape have 13 each.
Some of these offices are deployed in densely populated areas that do not have offices that can process Smart ID Cards, in areas like Mabopane and Temba in Gauteng and Chartsworth and Bhamshela in KwaZulu-Natal.
“We are determined to ensure that we afford everybody who wants to collect or apply for their IDs an opportunity to do so as conveniently for them as possible,” said Deputy Minister Nzuza.
He reminded citizens wishing to collect their IDs that Home Affairs offices will again be open today from 08:00 until 17:00.