Pretoria, South Africa – The South African Parliament is calling on all eligible citizens to register to vote in the upcoming 2024 provincial and national elections. This appeal comes as the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has designated the weekend of November 18 and 19 as a special period for voter registration.
According to Parliament of South Africa, Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Mr. Amos Masondo, emphasized the importance of participation in the democratic process. “South Africa is a representative democracy, and voting is the primary method of electing representatives. We urge all eligible voters to register and ensure their names are on the voters’ roll for next year’s elections,” they stated.
2024 marks a significant milestone for South Africa, celebrating 30 years since the first democratic elections in 1994 that allowed all South Africans, regardless of race, to vote. This historic moment overcame the previous system where voting was reserved for the white minority.
The Presiding Officers highlighted the power of voting as a crucial means for citizens to voice their concerns on issues that matter to them. “Voting is the single most important way to make voices heard on issues of concern. It allows every eligible voter to be part of the decision-making process, especially on issues that directly affect their lives,” they added.
The new Electoral Amendment Act, passed by Parliament and signed into law on April 17, 2023, is seen as a sign of the growth and maturity of South Africa’s democracy. It expands electoral participation and widens the leadership choice pool for national and provincial elections. Key changes include the inclusion of independent candidates in elections for seats in the National Assembly and provincial legislatures, requirements for independent candidate nominations, and provisions for objections to independent candidates.
The IEC, which appeared before the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs this week, assured MPs that all systems are ready for the voter registration weekend. Eligible voters can register in person at voting stations, use the IEC’s Online Voter Registration Service, or visit their local IEC office during weekdays. The necessary documents for registration include a green bar-coded ID book, smartcard ID, or a valid temporary identity certificate.
Eligible voters can register, check, or update their registration address in three ways until the proclamation of the 2024 Elections: online at registertovote.elections.org.za, at their voting station during the registration weekend, or at their local IEC office on weekdays.
This initiative by the South African Parliament and the IEC underscores their commitment to fostering a robust democratic process by encouraging widespread participation in the upcoming elections.