The Electoral Commission has launched its online address campaign which will assist it in meeting the 30 June 2018 target to capture addresses of all registered voters.
The MyIEC online campaign allows voters to log onto the IEC website via www.elections.org.za/MyIEC to update and capture their addresses.
Once voters have created their profile on the site, they can easily locate their address on the map provided or fill in their address manually.
Urging voters to make use of the platform, the newly appointed Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said: “The My IEC platform is secure, easy to use and providing your address will only take a few minutes”.
Mamabolo was acting CEO for six months following the lapse of his predecessor’s contract, Mosotho Moepya in March 2017. Mamabolo’s appointment took effect on 1 October 2017.
The facility includes features which allow the user to pinpoint their address on a map provided on the site. To assist voters, the IEC revived its Contact Centre on 0800 11 8000 and a short demonstration video has been included on its website.
“The system allows for voters to change addresses as often as they move to ensure that voters’ details are always updated,” said IEC Business Systems ICT Manager Melanie Du Plessis.
The ward or district where the voter is registered will be verified and a notification sent to them. If it is found that the voter is registered in the wrong ward, according to section 11 and 12 of the Electoral Act, the Chief Electoral Officer can allocate the voter to a ward.
Voters would also need to sign a declaration included on their profile as acknowledgement that their details are accurate. If information provided is found to be false the Commission would take the necessary steps against the voter.
IEC Vice Chairperson Terry Tselane allayed fears of cybersecurity interfering with the efforts of collating information commission of voters.
“Even though we are confident with our systems, what we normally do ahead of every election, we get all our political parties to check with their IT experts to check vulnerabilities. The process helps us close all the loopholes that are in the system,” said Vice Chairperson Terry Tselane.
Engagement with stakeholders
The commission said it acknowledges that while the online campaign will improve their efficiency of capturing voters’ addresses, not all South Africans have access due to high data costs. To combat the issue of access, the commission has engaged mobile service providers to assist in reducing costs.
“We had a meeting with the service providers where we spoke on the issue of zero rating, which entails that data costs are reduced or users pay a certain amount of the cost. I must say mobile service providers are open to engagement. The engagement was quite positive,” said Deputy Chief Electoral Officer Nomsa Masuku.
Furthermore, the Chapter 9 Institution has been engaging with Treasury to assist with funding for more initiatives with the hopes of running an opening voters’ weekend which allows voters a chance to check and provide their addresses face-to-face.
“So far the Treasury has made a R180 million available to us which will assist us in carrying through our initiatives,” said Mamabolo.
The online campaign will be supported by a comprehensive communication campaign to explain and promote the facility via various media including television radio, print and online.
Progress of updated addresses
In June 2016, the Constitutional Court handed down judgment that the IEC had to correctly capture the addresses of all registered voters on the voters’ roll before the 2019 general election. The Constitutional Court set the IEC a deadline for 30 June 2018.
A number of initiatives were undertaken following the Constitutional Court ruling improving the number of addresses captured by the IEC. One such initiative included allowing voters a chance to update their details before casting their vote during the 2016 municipal election.
“We managed to increase the proportion of complete addresses from 34% to 73% of registered voters currently. We managed to reduce incomplete addresses from 34% to 15% and reduced voters without any recorded addresses from 32% to approximately 11%,” said Mamabolo.
The initiatives undertaken has brought down the number of registered voters to just under 26 million with 19 million who have addresses, three million without and four million with incomplete addresses.
Voters are urged to log onto the www.elections.org.za/MyIEC to register and update their addresses using the online system.
South Africa Today – South Africa News