South Africans urged to register for local elections as deadline approaches

Voters line up to vote in South Africa’s parliamentary and provincial elections in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, South Africa, May 8, 2019. Mike Hutchings / Reuters
FILE: Voters line up to vote in South Africa’s legislative and provincial elections, Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, South Africa, May 8, 2019. Mike Hutchings / Reuters

Political parties, lawmakers and the electorate in South Africa have urged citizens to register for the next local or municipal elections by next Monday’s deadline, with more than 23,151 registration desks set to open this week. -end.

South Africa’s Election Commission announced on September 6 that voter registration will close on September 20, after a registration weekend of September 18-19, which will offer all eligible South African citizens the ability to register or update their registration information at all polling stations.

Municipal elections which take place every five years will elect leaders at the metropolitan, district and local levels in more than 200 municipalities across the country, which play a crucial role in delivering services that directly affect South African citizens in the country. day-to-day.

Fikile Xasa, chair of the Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs of Parliament, on Friday called for maximum participation of all South Africans in elections, as local governments are the engine of service delivery in the system of South African State.

Xasa, in a statement released here, urged all eligible South Africans, especially young people, to register to vote while respecting COVID-19 protocols at registration stations.

The call came as the country’s two largest parties mobilized their supporters to register for the elections.

The African National Congress (ANC), which has been the ruling party since South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, announced on Thursday that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also ANC chairman, and d other party officials will encourage communities on the ground. to take advantage of the registration weekend and vote for the party.

He also announced that Ramaphosa and other ANC leaders will lead community engagement after the launch of the election manifesto on September 27 in Tshwane, the city that is home to the administrative capital of Pretoria.

The ANC reportedly failed to register all applicants in 93 municipalities, 35 of which were significantly affected, before the original deadline due to technical issues. The party, however, assured its members and supporters that it will register all candidates by September 21, when the electoral body reopens the candidatures.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), the second largest party, announced its weekend registration program on Friday, during which its top leader John Steenhuisen and other party members will also visit communities to mobilize residents.

Among the country’s major cities, DA, which is the largest party in Tshwane and Johannesburg, is seeking an absolute majority in Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay, Steenhuisen told Xinhua in an interview on Tuesday.

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