Save the date: 3 August 2016. Yes, that’s this Wednesday! It’s the South African Municipal Elections 2016. This is your chance to have your say in the leadership of your municipality.
An opportunity like this only comes around once every five years so this is the time to get excited. If you’re not quite sure what the municipal elections are and why they’re the talk of the town, we can shed some light on that here.
In the interest of avoiding that awkward moment of realising you’re not registered after standing in the voting line, it’s best to check your voter registration details. This can be done on the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) website. By sending your ID number off, you’ll be able to find out your registration status, voting station information as well as your ward number.
If the feedback confirms your registration, your name will be on the voters’ roll. If not, then send your ID number and contact information to the IEC via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
What do I Bring with Me?
You can only vote if you have registered, are 18 years or older on voting day and you’re a South African citizen (not a permanent resident).
All you need to bring is:
- Your original, green, bar-coded South African ID book or ID card.
Take note: NO other form of identification is accepted.
- Confirmation of registration.
This is the voter registration details you received from the IEC.
- Receipt of registration in your ID book.
If you vote at a voting station that’s different from the one you registered at, you need to bring the receipt pasted in your ID when applying to register.
What if I Have Not Registered?
It’s extremely important to have registered to vote by the time an election date is proclaimed. This is published in the Government Gazette. For the 2016 Municipal Elections, the cut-off for registration was at 5pm on 23 May 2016. This is after the IEC extended its registration hours over registration weekend in early April. All voters’ rolls have been closed and the IEC cannot accept any further registration applications for this year’s municipal elections.
While FOMO may be setting in, there’s another municipal election in five years’ time and a general election in 2019. The chance to be a registered voter is not lost forever.
What are my Options?
If you’re registered to vote on Wednesday and still find yourself at a loss as to where to make your mark, here are some of the registered parties vying for your vote. This is a list of the representative political parties with a website for you to view. For the complete list of participating parties, have a look at the IEC’s political party list. Inform yourself before you vote.
Main South African Political Parties:
- ABOLITION OF INCOME TAX AND USURY PARTY – AITU
- AL JAMA-AH – ALJAMA
- KEEP IT STRAIGHT AND SIMPLE – KISS
- MINORITY FRONT – MF
- PEACE AND JUSTICE CONGRESS – PJC
- PEOPLE’S CIVIC ORGANISATION – P.C.O
- SIBANYE CIVIC ASSOCIATION – SCA
- THE REAL PARTY – T.R.P
Voting Day is about more than drawing an ‘X’ and getting a temporary thumb tattoo; it’s about the freedom of choice. All South Africans have the right to be heard. This is the perfect opportunity to exercise this right. Remember an informed and independent decision is yours to make. Happy Voting Day and good luck with the Municipal Elections 2016!