Kelebogile Moahludi, 19 year old from Batho location in Bloemfontein is among millions of eligible South African voters expected to have visited voting stations over the weekend to register their names for next year’s elections. However, Moahludi’s uncertainty to wake up in the morning of the voting day to queue up and cast her vote led to her missing registration period.
The Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) opened voting stations across the country on Saturday and Sunday morning at 8am for eligible South Africans voters as part of a national campaign to update the voters’ roll in preparation for the 2019 elections. The electoral commission however says, it is pleased with the support and turnout despite disruptions in some areas around the country.
“Until the machines are docked and all the information analysed, we will only know then what the outcome of this particular weekend is but we are grateful for the support that we received across the whole of South Africa,” says IEC Spokesperson Kate Bapela.
First year electrical engineer student at Whitestone college in Bloemfontein Moahludi, told Dumelang news that she is not certain of who she wants at the Union Building come next year elections.“So many people woo us to vote for them promising us heaven and earth but all fail to fulfil those promises. I don’t know if l will wake up and queue to vote next year,” she said.
“I have heard some people complain of empty promises made by those they have put in power. I would rather focus on my studies so l can be able to work to assist my family,” she says. My weekend was spent in school studying.
Political parties rolled up their sleeves to woo voters – more so, young people – to register for next year’s polls. This included the ruling party that rolled out its heavyweights and veterans to urge citizens to register.
ANC secretary general Ace Magashule spent the first day of registrations in his home province on Saturday before jetting off to North West province on Sunday where he was scheduled to visit a Uniting Reformed Church in Wolmaranstad and do a door-to-door and walkabout in Extension 17.
On Saturday, Magashule - who started campaigning at Bloemfontein CBD’s Hoffman square - urged young people to ensure their voices are heard through the ballot paper next year. “Have you registered to vote next year?” Magashule asked young people during his walkabout.
“For those who are yet to visit voting stations, make sure you do not forget to do so because it is important that you register to vote now and be able to voice your concerns through the ballot paper next year”. “Your vote is important to this country. Everyone still has a chance until tomorrow but l encourage you to go to your nearest voting station and ensure all is in order,” said Magashule.
Free State is among a few provinces that saw number of voting stations closed due to protests. One voting station in Harrismith (a tent erected as a temporary voting station) was burnt down while another was stolen in Kroonstad and a third was demolished and destroyed by residents in the same area. IEC officials in Thaba-Nchu were denied access to a number of voter registration stations at Motlatla village due what seemed to be service delivery protest.