The Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) voter registration weekend seemed to be a success, in spite of technical glitches at various stations, with tens of thousands having registered for the upcoming local elections over the two days.
The two-day registration period ahead of the local government elections was highly promoted at voting stations and on social media. Some stations experienced hiccups, with people reporting a manual system of writing down voter details with pen and paper because the system was offline.
Some raised concerns about whether this would affect the correct capturing of their details.
A Johannesburg woman who wished to remain anonymous first confirmed her details on the IEC website when the elections were first announced.
“Everything seemed to be okay, all my details were correct, but then I heard the registration process was experiencing some glitches on Saturday.”
When she and her wife went to the Craighall polling station, they were the only two people there.
“Our details were, fortunately, correctly captured and, thanks to the friendly staff, the process took about 10 minutes from parking to leaving.”
For others, it was also a quick process, with Thato Noinyane saying she was in and out within minutes.
“Changing my address didn’t even take five minutes,” she said.
Few issues were reported at voting stations, said IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela.
By Sunday afternoon, 627 305 people had registered. A further 39 519 had registered on the online portal. The high turnout led to pressure on the information technology system, she said. The issue was resolved by Sunday, despite nine voting stations not opening due to service delivery protests.
Meanwhile, in KwaZulu-Natal, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and his convoy were violently blocked outside the voting station in KwaDambuza in an attempt to prevent the red berets entry.
“The ANC is intolerant. Who said there should be no-go areas?
“The ANC campaigns everywhere, we don’t stop them. Why are they stopping us?” Malema asked.