Turnout on Day 1 of final voter registration inspires hope despite protests

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Most political parties have reported to have been encouraged by the citizens’ turnout during the first day of the final voter registration despite service delivery protest aimed at preventing first-time voters from registering to vote in some parts of the country. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has set aside the 26 and 27 of January as the final voter registration weekend before the May polls.

Potential voters have visited the over 22 930 registration stations countrywide to check their details.

Day one of the IEC’s final voter registration has come and gone with at least 130 protests recorded countrywide.

Although these were service-delivery related, they were all meant to stop first-time voters from registering and discourage potential voters from updating their details, much to the disappointment of the IEC Chairperson Glen Mashinini.

He has urged residents not confuse the competency of national and provincial governments with that of the local government insisting that service delivery is the competency of municipalities, not of the other two spheres of government.

During his visit to Giyani in Limpopo, African National Congress Deputy President David Mabuza urged everyone to ensure that their names are on the voters’ roll and will be eligible to vote when the time comes.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on the other hand said voting will help residents to decide on the quality of leaders they want.

While visiting Marikana, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said this is an opportunity for jobless young people to vote for a government that will address their plight.

Inkatha Freedom Party Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi said participating in election helps to strengthen democracy.

National Freedom Party Sphamandla Ntombela said it is always important to check your details before the polling day.

Meanwhile, Congress of the People Treasurer General Theo Godden has encouraged young people to take voting seriously.

Sunday is the final voter registration day and political party leaders will again criss-cross the country to encourage potential voters to visit their registration centres.

The IEC will release a final tally of how many new registrations have been recorded and how many people have updated their details during a media briefing on Tuesday.

South Africans can expect cool temperatures in most parts of the country on Sunday, especially in inland provinces on the second day of the final voter registration weekend.

Forecaster Wayne Venter says there are storms in parts of Mpumalanga, Free State and the North West this afternoon. He says those storms are likely to move into parts of Limpopo later this afternoon and Gauteng tonight.

Venter says it will be hot in western parts of the country.