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Zuma announces local government elections date

President Jacob Zuma announced the date of the Local Government Elections in a statement on Wednesday. 

According to the statement, the elections would take place on August 3, 2016.

“The President has further encouraged all South Africans who are eligible to vote, in particular, the youth who would be voting for the first time, to register for the local elections during the voter registration weekend of 9-10 April 2016, as announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC),” the statement read.

“We urge all those who are eligible to vote register to vote and those who have not checked their names to do so on Saturday and Sunday this weekend so that together we continue to re-affirm and deepen our democracy.”

The statement added that Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des van Rooyen will follow the necessary legal procedure to proclaim the date and undertake any other requirements.

Earlier on Wednesday, the IEC appealed to South Africans to allow for a smooth voter registration process on April 9 and 10.

“The Electoral Commission is appealing to residents of all areas to allow citizens to register unimpeded so that they can exercise their right to vote,” chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya told reporters in Pretoria.

“Since the first registration weekend in March, the Electoral Commission has been engaging with stakeholders in all communities where voter registration was disrupted previously to ensure that eligible voters are given an equal opportunity to participate in the upcoming municipal elections.”

During the previous voter registration weekend last month, some IEC staff had to be withdrawn from communities on police recommendation due to safety concerns sparked by protests.

“While the electoral commission had anticipated some disruptions to registration in areas due to community activism, it is saddened to note that in some instances protesters appear to have targeted the registration stations and threatened IEC officials,” Moepya said at the time.

“In some isolated number of areas IEC officials have had to be withdrawn at the recommendation of the South African Police Service to ensure their safety. They will return to duty as soon as the situation in these areas is brought under control by security forces.”

“The Constitutional Court found in November last year that a voter’s address or sufficient particularities of their place of residence were essential to ensure that the voter is registered in the correct voting district,” said Moepya.

“The Electoral Commission has subsequently embarked on a number of initiatives to update and confirm the address details for voters to enhance the quality of the voters’ roll – including urging all voters to confirm and update their address details during the registration weekend in March and this coming weekend.”

Existing voters would be able to check whether additional address information is required for them by SMSing their ID number to 32810 – at a cost of R1. They would receive an SMS back with the name of the voting station where they are currently registered.

Voters for whom incomplete address details are currently captured will receive a second SMS urging them to visit their voting station to update their details.

Voters can check their status by dialing *120*432# or online (www.elections.org.za) or call the Contact Centre on 0800 11 8000 between 7am and 9pm.

Voters without formal addresses would be required to complete and sign an affirmation form (REC AS) accompanying the REC 1 form in which they attest to the fact they live in the relevant voting district. – African News Network

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