The highest number of voters is in Gauteng, with the total number of eligible voters in South Africa at 23 million. It is "encouraging that more people are starting to show interest in voting".
A TOTAL of 5,5 million people have registered to vote in Gauteng in the 2011 local government elections, according to the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Brigalia Bam.
Lighting a candle od peaceLighting a candle of peace“This makes Gauteng the province with the highest number of voters.” She was speaking during a prayer meeting spearheaded by the premier of Gauteng, Nomvula Mokonyane, held at the Standard Bank Arena on 12 May.
The ceremony, attended by hundreds of politicians, religious and traditional leaders, was aimed at praying for peaceful local government elections.
“It is encouraging that more people are starting to show interest in voting. In the 2009 general elections, we had noticed a decline in number of voters. This year the residents of this South Africa have shown that they are determined to be the change they want to see,” said Bam.
She pointed out that the IEC was determined to deliver free and fair elections. On election day, a national public holiday, over 200 000 people will be deployed at voting stations countrywide. In Gauteng, there will be 29 000 IEC officials.
There are 20 600 voting stations in the country, with 2 084 of those in Gauteng. Bam said the total number of eligible voters in South Africa was 23 million.
Some 200 political parties had registered to contest next week’s elections; and in Gauteng there were well over 9 000 independent candidates.
“We are confident that with the number of voting stations and IEC staff that will be deployed on the day of the election, we will be able to achieve our mandate of delivering free and fair elections,” Bam said.
Mokonyane added: “Today, we gather to pray because we understand and respect the power of God. It is important that we ask for divine intervention like we did when we first went to the polls in 1994.
“We know that when our people were faced with adversity, it was the power of prayer and faith that provided fortitude and determination to strive for change. The elections can be used to spread lies, malice and contempt which serve to polarise and antagonise children from the same seed, from the same father and mother.”
MMC for finance Parks Tau attends the prayer meetingMMC for finance Parks Tau attends the prayer meetingA moment of silence was observed when Mokonyane and Bam lit a candle as a symbol of peace. Mokonyane said the time had come for the churches to take the stand.
“Churches play a significant role in building communities and instilling fundamental human values. When voting, lest we forget those died. The May 18 is a day that we should also be remembering our heroes who fought for this freedom, such as Lillian Ngoyi, Walter Sisulu, Peter Mokaba, Steve Biko and other unsung heroes who died for freedom.
“The blood of these martyrs watered the fruits of freedom that we are enjoying today. By voting we will be showing appreciation for the work done by our heroes.”
Sy Mamabolo, an IEC electoral commissioner, read out the electoral code of conduct that guides all political parties registered to contest the elections.
The code promotes conditions that are conducive to free and fair elections, including tolerance of democratic political activity, free political campaigning and open public debate. It also represents every registered party, all the candidates and people who hold political office.
Members of political parties and their supporters must comply with the electoral conduct and any electoral laws.
To vote, you must be a South African citizen, over the age of 18 on the day of the elections, and be registered on the Voters’ Roll, which is held by the IEC. Voters will only be allowed to vote at the station where they have registered.
To vote, you must present your green South African bar-coded identity book or a temporary identity certificate. These are the only forms of identification that will be accepted. Voting stations will be open from 7am to 7pm.
To confirm you are registered, voting stations and candidates, SMS your ID number to 32810, or call 0800 11 8000, which is toll free from a landline. You can also check online.
For more information, visit the IEC website.
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