Registration dates for local elections announced

All voting stations will open from 8am to 5pm on March 5 and March 6 for new voters to register and for existing voters to update and check their registration details ahead of this year’s Municipal Elections.

The dates for the voter registration weekend were announced at the official launch of the 2016 Municipal Elections on January 14.

The date for the election itself will only be known later this year when it is proclaimed by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Mr David van Rooyen.

In terms of the Constitution, the municipal elections must take place between May 18 and August 16, 2016, which is the 90 day window provided at the conclusion of a five year term of office of municipal councillors elected in 2011 and in any subsequent by-elections.

The Electoral Commission has urged all participants, including eligible voters, political parties and candidates to ensure they are ready to participate in the elections.

Voters do not need to provide proof of address when registering, but must provide sufficient details of their address to show that they are in the correct voting district.

Where no address is available, registering voters will be required to sign an affirmation, confirming their exact location of residence in the correct voting district.

The affirmation highlights that it is a criminal offence to knowingly register in the incorrect voting district.

The Commission confirmed that following the registration weekend, addresses of voters will now be captured before the certification of the voters roll.

Political parties and independent contestants will also be provided a copy of the voters roll with addresses to allow them the possibility for effective campaigning.

Currently there are 282 political parties registered with the Electoral Commission.

There is no specific cut-off date for parties wishing to contest the 2016 Municipal Elections and registration is on-going.

However, political parties which have not yet registered and are intending to contest the elections, are urged to begin the registration process as soon as possible as it can take a number of weeks to complete the requirements, which include publishing a notice of the intention to register in local newspapers in the case of a municipal level registration or the government gazette, in the case of a national level registration.

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