The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has pleaded for patience as its voter registration online portal continues to experience heavy traffic.
The IEC held its final voter registration drive over the weekend, but its online registration system encountered a few glitches with potential voters unable to capture their addresses on the system.
This led to some people reporting a manual system of writing down voter details with pen and paper at some stations, due to the system being offline.
The issue was resolved on Sunday, despite nine voting stations not opening due to service delivery protests.
The two-day registration period saw more than 600,000 people being registered at the voting stations while just over 39,000 registered on the online portal.
However, citizens can still register to vote online, although voting stations closed on Sunday.
The IEC said voter registration would be open until midnight on Monday.
“Our Voter Portal is currently experiencing heavy traffic. Please be patient and keep trying until midnight today, 20 September 2021, if you need to register or update your voters’ roll address for [the local elections]. Apologies for the inconvenience caused,” the commission said in a tweet.
The commission has also laid criminal charges over allegations of some registration staff in the North West throwing out voters’ handwritten information.
“Criminal proceedings against the officials concerned are underway following this incident. Lists with voter info was reconstructed and voter information has been uploaded to the voters’ roll. Thanks again for your vigilance,” the IEC said.
Election date gazetted
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has since gazetted the date for the elections in an effort “to comply with statutory and constitutional obligations”.
“The gazette was done as per Constitution, section 159 read with the Municipal Structures Act, which prescribes that at the end of a five-year term of local government, elections must be held within a period of 90 days.
“Gazetting of the election date means that the IEC will seal the voters’ roll. The gazetting of the date is taking us a step closer to voting day,” the Department of Cooperative Governance said in a statement.
The department added that the IEC would release the actual statistics and the status of the voters roll “over the course of the week”.
The country is set to go to the polls on 1 November.
Meanwhile, applications for special votes opened on Monday and are set to close on 4 October.