2019 national election: IEC updates KZN journalists

Mawethu Mosery with IEC logo
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The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced a proposed legislative amendment to allow political parties and South African citizens to inspect the voters roll ahead of next year’s national election.

The IEC’s provincial office met with KwaZulu-Natal journalists to brief them on developments ahead of next year. There are 5.3 million voters on KwaZulu-Natal’s voters roll. Nationally, the country’s voter’s roll sits at over 26 million voters.

IEC electoral officer in KwaZulu-Natal Mawethu Mosery says the IEC will appoint a team of investigators and attorneys to manage election objections and take these matters to the electoral court.

Matters such as the verification of voter addresses, the IEC’s code of conduct and the rights and responsibilities of voters were discussed in Durban.

Mosery says that the election offence’s attorneys will deal with transgressions of the IEC’s code of conduct.

“If sufficient evidence is collected for us to take the matter further to the electoral court, they then lead that action of the IEC commission to the court. So we will have a sizable team of investigators who will investigate all objections to elections, the transgressions to the code of conduct, the intention here is to ensure there is compliance with the code of conduct.”

South Africa’s more than 20 year old voter’s roll has come under some scrutiny, with addresses and details needing verification.

A 2016 Constitutional Court ruling gave the IEC 24 months to fix the challenges. An application for an extension was extended to the end of November this year.

Related to this, the IEC in KZN says that the province is fairing well in terms of validating addresses on the voters roll. Just over three hundred and twenty thousand KwaZulu-Natal voters have not yet verified their addresses. The IEC says that these reside mostly in the eThekwini Municipality. In rural areas, a decision has been taken to embrace addresses assigned by the Post Office.

Mosery also announced that for the first time, a voters’ roll inspection period will take place before the national election. He explains why this was found to be necessary.

“The names, the places of registration the addresses provided by voters and anyone can then submit an objection. basically between 2012 and 2016 alerted to us the aspect of the correctness of the voters roll. Instead of these matters being pointed out to us in the form of an objection too close to a voting day let’s have a designated period for people to bring those objections to us so we have sufficient time to deal with them.”

There are some critical dates to be aware of. The final voter registration weekend is at the end of January next year. Prisons registration is on January 22nd and 23rd and at tertiary institutions on the 9th and 10th of February. There is a ninety day window period to hold next year’s national election – between May 7th and August 9th. Mosery has confirmed that the election date will be proclaimed in February or March next year.