EDITORIAL | Timing is everything for voter registration turnout
Though it has always been neglected by major political parties, local government is an important sphere of governance
While the decision by the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) to review whether the current conditions are conducive to free and fair elections must be welcomed, its timing could have a chilling effect on voter registration turnout.
IEC chief executive Sy Mamabolo announced in parliament over a month ago that it will conduct only one voter registration weekend for this year’s municipal elections because its budget was cut by about R35m. That weekend takes place over July 17 and 18. Another smaller registration drive is happening this coming weekend for by-elections on June 30 in wards in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Western Cape.
On Thursday, IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini announced the appointment of respected jurist Dikgang Moseneke, a former deputy chairperson of the IEC that delivered the country’s historic polls in 1994, as the chair of a committee to review the appropriateness of the conditions for holding free and fair elections. Moseneke will, after engaging political, health and disaster experts, deliver his verdict in July – exactly three months before the October 27 municipal poll date announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. ..