Final Registration Weekend Countdown

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FAQs

A: If you can’t get to your voting station on Election Day for National and Provincial elections because you’re heavily pregnant, you can apply for a special vote. Please see special votes for details.

A: Yes, you can vote in national and provincial elections as long as you have your valid, green, bar-coded ID and you are registered to vote. Check your voter registration status online to confirm that your name appears on the voters’ roll.

A: Yes, just get a Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC) that will be valid on election day. You can apply for your TIC at the Department of Home Affairs. Please also check your registration details and confirm that your name appears on the voters’ roll (check your voter registration status online). You can re-register if necessary, as you must be on the voters’ roll to vote (see How do I register? for details).

A: No, you must have turned 18 on or before the day on which the elections are proclaimed (published in the Government Gazette) to be able to vote. No exceptions can be made.

A: National and Provincial Elections:
You need to vote at the voting station where you’re registered to vote. However, if you’re outside of your voting district on Election Day you may vote at another voting station in South Africa. If you’re outside the province where you registered, you’ll only be able to vote in the national election and not the provincial election, and you’ll be asked to complete a VEC 4 form at the voting station.

Municipal Elections and By-Elections:
You need to vote at the voting station at which you’re registered.
Please remember that you must be a registered voter in South Africa in order to vote. To confirm that your name is on the voters’ roll and to find out which voting station you’re registered at, please check your voter registration status on line or SMS your ID number to 32810. To locate your voting station on a map, please see our online voting station finder.

Special votes

A: You can apply for a special vote if you are a registered voter;

have a green, bar-coded ID book; smartcard ID; or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate (apply at a Home Affairs office); and

  • meet the conditions for the specific type of election (see below).

To make sure that you’re registered and to find out where you’re registered, you can:

By law, you can apply for a special vote if you:

  • can’t travel to your voting station because you are physically infirm, disabled or pregnant; or
  • can’t vote at your voting station on election day.

A: If you are a South African citizen and are registered to vote, but will be out of the country on Election Day, please see special votes for details on how to apply for a special vote (national and provincial elections only).

A: If you can’t vote at your voting station on Election Day for National and Provincial elections because you’ll be out of the country on government service, you can apply for a special vote. Please see special votes for details.

A: If you’re a South African citizen and you registered as a voter in SA, you can apply for a special vote for national and provincial elections. Please see special votes for details on how to apply to vote.

A: If you’re confined to your bed and can’t get to your voting station on Election Day for National and Provincial elections, you can apply for a special vote. Please see special votes for details.

A: If you’re bedridden or in hospital and can’t get to your voting station on Election Day for National and Provincial elections, you can apply for a special vote. Please see special votes for details.

A: You will be allowed to vote as long as your name is on the voters’ roll. If your name isn’t on the voters’ roll and you don’t have your registration sticker, you have no proof that you’ve registered and you won’t be able to vote. Please check your voter registration status online to make sure your name is on the voters’ roll.

A: Yes, you can vote if you have a Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC) that is valid on Election Day. You can apply for a TIC at the Department of Home Affairs. Please remember, you will only be able to vote if you are a registered voter.

A: No, every voter must vote in person at the voting station.

A: No, you can only vote with your South African, green, bar-coded ID or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC). You can apply for a green, bar-coded ID or a valid TIC from the Department of Home Affairs.

A: No, only South African citizens with a green, bar-coded ID book can vote in elections.

A: The Muncipal Electoral Act does not make provision for overseas voting during municipal elections due to the fact that you can only vote in the ward where you live.

A: This decision is made by The President in consultation with the Minister of Home Affairs, not by the IEC. However, if election day is a public holiday, the election timetable will say so.

Voter registration

A: No, people are not allowed to place party posters in registration or voting stations.

A: No, the Voters Roll for a specific election closes at 5pm on the day of proclamation of the election date (The President’s official announcement of the election date). Please see How do I register? for details.

A: No, you must register at the voting station (only open for registration during special registration weekends) in your voting district, and this might not be the one closest to your home. To find out where your voting station is, please use the online voting station finder.

A: No, once the voters’ roll closes (at 5pm on the date of proclamation of the election date), you can’t change/update your details for that election. You will have to wait until after the election.

A: You can register during office hours at the Municipal Electoral Office responsible for the voting district in which you live. Please see How do I register?for details.

A: A Registration Supervisor is the person in charge of a registration station. Neither they nor any other IEC staff can wear any political party colours. One registered party agent is allowed inside each registration station and they may wear their party colours, but they may not talk/canvass in the station. Members of the public can wear anything.

A: Please check your voter registration status on line to find out if you’re registered.

A: Please see How do I register? for details.

A: You must be registered and 18 or older on the day that the election date is proclaimed (announced by the President and gazetted) to be able to vote.

A: You have to go to the Department of Home Affairs or call them on 0800 601 190 to see how they can help you. Unfortunately we can’t help you with this issue.You must have a green, bar-coded South African ID book to register as a voter and to vote.

A: No, for the purposes of voter registration, only green, bar-coded SA ID books and Temporary Identity Certificates are valid. Please apply for your ID book at Home Affairs.

A: Yes, you must be registered in the voting district where you live. Your voting district may change, even if you only move a short distance. Please go to your municipal electoral office to register in your new voting district. Alternatively, during special registration weekends you can register at your voting station. To find out where your new voting station is, please use our online voting station finder and enter your new address.

A: No, you only have to re-register if your address, personal details or voting district has changed. Please check your voter registration status online to see your registration details.

A: Yes, you can register as soon as you have your green, bar-coded South African ID book. As soon as there’s an election when you’ll be at least 18 years old on Election Day, we’ll add you to the voters’ roll so that you can vote.

A: No. We use your ID number and check it against the National Population Register (NPR). We get your name as it’s reflected on the NPR (the Department of Home Affairs automatically changes your name when you get married), and that is the name that appears on the Voters’ Roll. You can apply to Home Affairs for a new ID reflecting your married name if you want to.

A: A receipt is pasted in your ID book.

A: You must re-register if your address, personal details or voting district has changed. Please check your voter registration status online to see your registration details. If your details have changed since you last registered, please see How do I register? for details on how to register (the re-registration process is the same as the registration process).

A: It’s open for inspection on a continuous basis at Municipal Electoral Offices during office hours. You can also inspect the voters’ roll at your voting station (see voter registration status to find out where your voting station is) during registration weekends to verify your details and re-register if your details have changed.

A: Registration weekends are held before National and Provincial or Municipal Elections. The dates of any upcoming registration weekends will be widely advertised and added to our calendar. 5-6 March 2016

Where to vote

You should always vote at the voting station where you're registered, but it is possible to vote elsewhere in a national election.

A: National and Provincial Elections:
You need to vote at the voting station where you’re registered to vote. However, if you’re outside of your voting district on Election Day you may vote at another voting station in South Africa. If you’re outside the province where you registered, you’ll only be able to vote in the national election and not the provincial election, and you’ll be asked to complete a VEC 4 form at the voting station.

Municipal Elections and By-Elections:
You need to vote at the voting station at which you’re registered.
Please remember that you must be a registered voter in South Africa in order to vote. To confirm that your name is on the voters’ roll and to find out which voting station you’re registered at, please check your voter registration status online or SMS your ID number to 32810. To locate your voting station on a map, please see our online voting station finder.

A: No, you must vote in person at your voting station.

A: We try to communicate any changes to you, but please check your voter registration status online before each election to confirm that your voting station hasn’t changed.

A: Voting stations may change from time to time, depending on availability of each voting venue. To find out where your voting station is, please check your voter registration status online. You can then use our online voting station finder to find a map to your voting station.

A: National and Provincial Elections:
You need to vote at the voting station where you’re registered to vote. However, if you’re outside of your voting district on Election Day you may vote at another voting station in South Africa. If you’re outside the province where you registered, you’ll only be able to vote in the national election and not the provincial election, and you’ll be asked to complete a VEC 4 form at the voting station.

Municipal Elections and By-Elections:
You need to vote at the voting station at which you’re registered.
Please remember that you must be a registered voter in South Africa in order to vote. To confirm that your name is on the voters’ roll and to find out which voting station you’re registered at, please check your voter registration status online or SMS your ID number to 32810. To locate your voting station on a map, please see our online voting station finder.

A: Your voting station may change from time to time, depending on the availability of the venue and changes in your voting district boundaries. To find out where your voting station is, check your voter registration status online. You can then use our online voting station finder to find a map to your voting station.

A: For each election, voting stations must be established by the IEC in each voting district. When the IEC determines the location, it looks into facts that affect the free, fair and orderly conduct of the election and the need to avoid congestion at the voting station. The IEC may consult with parties and candidates.

A list of voting stations in the municipality must be available for inspection at the office of the local representative. Certified copies can be obtained at R 1 per page.

The IEC can relocate a voting station if necessary to ensure a free and fair election.

Demarcation (Geographical Subdivision)

A: The Municipal Demarcation Board is an independent authority responsible for the determination of municipal boundaries. The Board’s status as an independent authority is also protected by section 3 of The Local Government:Municipal Demarcation Act, 1998, and various judgments by the Constitutional Court. In addition to the determinations and re-determinations of municipal boundaries, the Board is also mandated by legislation to declare the district management areas; to delimit wards for local elections; and to assess the capacity of municipalities to perform their functions.

A: Metropolitan municipalities (Category A):

Metropolitan municipalities exist in the six biggest cities in South Africa. They have more than 500 000 voters and the metropolitan municipality co-ordinates the delivery of services to the whole area. There are metropolitan municipalities in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Ethekweni (Durban), Tshwane (Pretoria), Nelson Mandela (Port Elizabeth) and the Ekhuruleni (East Rand). These municipalities are broken into wards. Half the councillors are elected through a proportional representation ballot, where voters vote for a party. The other half are elected as ward councillors by the residents in each ward.

Local municipalities (Category B):

Areas that fall outside of the six metropolitan municipal areas are divided into local municipalities. There are a total of 231 of these local municipalities and each municipality is broken into wards. The residents in each ward are represented by a ward councillor. Voters in these municipalities also vote for district councils.
Half the local councillors are elected through a proportional representation ballot, where voters vote for a party. The other half are elected as ward councillors by the residents in each ward.

Only people who live in low population areas, like game parks, do not fall under local municipalities. The areas are called district management areas (DMA) and fall directly under the district municipality.

District municipalities (Category C):

District municipalities are made up of a number of local municipalities that fall in one district. There are usually between 4 – 6 local municipalities that come together in a district council and there are 47 district municipalities in South Africa. The district municipality has to co-ordinate development and delivery in the whole district.

The district council is made up of two types of councillors:

Elected councillors – they are elected for the district council on a proportional representation ballot by all voters in the area. (40% of the district councillors)

Councillors who represent local municipalities in the area – they are local councillors sent by their council to represent it on the district council. (60% of the district councillors)

Metro Council voters: one PR vote for metro council
one ward vote for individual candidate
Local Council voters: one PR vote for local council
one ward vote for individual candidate
one PR vote for District Council
District Management one PR vote for DMA representatives to DC,
Area voters: one PR vote for District Council

Note: in some very small local councils with very few councillors, there may be no wards and only a PR vote.

A: Wards are geopolitical subdivisions of municipalities used for electoral purposes. Each metropolitan and local municipality is delimited by the Municipal Demarcation Board into half as many wards as there are seats on the municipal council (rounding up if there are an odd number of seats). Each ward then elects one councillor directly, and the remaining councillors are elected from party lists so that the overall party balance is proportional to the proportion of votes received by each party.

A: A voting district is a geographical area that we draw to minimise fraud (registered voters voting more than once in an election), and to make administration more efficient.

Each voting district is serviced by one voting station only. You may only register and vote in the voting district in which you live. Once registered, your name will appear only on the Voters’ Roll for the voting district at which you registered. This minimises the possibility of a voter voting more than once in an election.

A: Voting districts are delimited to minimise voter inconvenience (voters having to stand in long queues at voting stations), and to assist us in logistical planning.

Voting districts are principally determined on the basis of geographical size and number of eligible voters. Urban voting districts contain some 3,000 voters located within a radius of some 7,5 km of the voting station. Rural voting districts accommodate some 1,200 voters located within a radius of some 10 km of the voting station.

A: The concepts “delimitation” and “demarcation” are often used interchangeably. For the purposes of electoral management, the drawing of (outer) municipal boundaries is called demarcation and is the legal responsibility of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB).

The MDB also draws municipal ward boundaries and this is referred to as delimitation. The drawing of electoral districts (such as voting districts and wards) is known as “delimitation”.

The IEC’s voting districts do not have political significance (as do wards), but have been created for electoral efficiency and planning purposes.

A: Many voting districts change shape due to various geographical, population and political changes that take place between elections.

When delimiting voting districts, we access various data sources (topographic, cadastral, census information), including the Surveyor-General, the Department of Land Affairs and Statistics SA.

Before an election, our municipal representatives inspect maps of voting districts in municipalities in order to align the geography of voting districts with local geographic, settlement, demographic and political changes that may have occurred since the previous election. Voting districts must also be aligned to new boundaries determined by the Municipal Demarcation Board.

Our municipal representatives also locate and confirm voting stations in each voting district. This is done in conjunction with municipal political party representatives.

A: Check your voter registration status online. All of your registration details will be displayed, including your voting district and station.

If you have moved to a new home, you’re most likely in a different voting district. To find out, go to our online voting station finder and search for your street name or suburb. The map will display your voting district boundaries and the location of your voting station. If your voting district has indeed changed, you need to re-register in your new district (see How do I register).

Ward Councillor

A: Ward councillors play a central role in the communication process between the communities they represent and the Council, reporting back regularly through ward meetings and assisting the community in identifying needs and priority areas of development, which feeds into the municipality’s planning processes.

A: When a ward councillor resigns or is disqualified, a by-election will be held. If a ward councillor stood with a party symbol next to their name, they must leave their seat if they stop being a member of that party. An independent who joins a party after election also has to leave their seat. Any ward councillor who crosses the floor and joins a party during the window period, may not be replaced by their party and the party effectively loses a seat

A: They supposed to really inform you about what council does, where the opportunities are in council, raise your concerns in council that relate to your council-related services.

They must serve in portfolio committees and report back to their wards by doing the following, use their ward committees, report to NGOs and other organisations such as faith-based organisations etc., they must write to local media newspapers, use community radio stations and TV stations in some cases, write newsletters and do public meetings.

A: A ward candidates’ name is submitted on a form to the local representative. The following

must be attached:

  • a form with at least 50 signatures of voters, registered in that ward (only if the candidate

is independent);

  • acceptance of nomination signed by the candidate;
  • a copy of the candidates’ ID  page where the photo, name and ID number appear; and
  • a deposit fee of R 500 for an independent ward candidate and for a party aligned ward

candidate whose party is not participating in the PR election of that municipality (this

deposit will be refunded to the ward candidate after the election if he or she received at

least 10 per cent of the votes cast in the ward).

A: Every citizen who is qualified to vote for a particular municipality has the right to stand for elections in that municipality. In other words, anyone who is registered on that municipality’s segment of the national voters’ roll can be nominated as a candidate.

Election Day

A: All political and campaign activities are allowed until midnight on the day before elections. After that no marches, rallies, demonstrations, public meetings or political events may be held. This does not mean that parties are banned from mobilising voters, canvassing or loud-hailing. But they may not do so within the boundaries of a voting station. Loud-hailing should also not be done right outside a voting station.

A: A special Electoral Court will hear all appeals against IEC decisions and will make the final decisions on all cases related to the Municipal Electoral Act and free and fair elections. Before cases go to the Electoral Court for a hearing, conciliation must be used as a first resort to settle disputes.

A: The same Code of Conduct applies as in all other democratic elections. Political parties that break the Code can be fined, stopped from working in an area, or have their votes in an area cancelled. The individuals who break the Code or commit other offences under the Electoral Act can be fined or jailed.

Anyone who breaks the Code commits a crime and can be prosecuted. A party may also be punished for an individual member or supporter’s behaviour if it can be shown that the party did not urge supporters to abide by the Code and did not take all reasonable steps to stop them from breaking the Code.

A:

Do:

  1. encourage all your party members and supporters to be tolerant of other parties
  2. condemn political violence
  3. support the right of all parties to campaign freely
  4. inform the proper authorities of all planned marches and rallies
  5. actively work with all IEC structures
  6. co-operate with the police in their investigation of election crime and violence

Do not:

  1. use any kind of violence or threats against anyone who supports another party
  2. remove or destroy any other party’s property, posters or pamphlets
  3. disrupt another party’s public meeting
  4. stop other parties from door-to-door work or campaigning in your area
  5. threaten or stop people who want to attend meetings of other parties
  6. force people to join your party, attend meetings or donate money
  7. spread false rumours about another party
  8. use violent language or urge people to use violence against any party or person

A: These steps will be followed in the voting station  it may be changed slightly in regulations that are issued closer to the elections:

  1. Queue walker checks voter’s ID with Zip-Zip, while voter is in the queue outside, to make sure voter is at the right voting station
  2. Voter shows ID at the first table inside
  3. Voter’s name is crossed off the voter’s roll.
  4. Voter’s hand is examined to see if it has been marked.
  5. The hand is marked to see that the voter does not vote again. The ID book will also be stamped.
  6. The voter is given a ballot paper for the local council, ward and district (unless in metro area, then only two ballots).
  7. An official stamp is put on the back of the ballot papers.
  8. The voter goes into the voting booth and makes a cross for one party or candidate on each of the ballot papers.

The voter folds the ballot papers and puts them into the correct ballot boxes. An election official will check to see that the ballots have the stamps on the back before they are placed into the boxes.

Counting of votes

A: A Counting Officer

For each voting station or other venue where votes will be counted, a Counting Officer and a Deputy Counting Officer has to be appointed. They can be the same person as the Presiding Officer, Deputy Presiding Officer or Voting Officer. The Counting Officer must manage, coordinate and supervise the counting of the votes and has the same power with regard to maintaining order as the Presiding Officer (see 4.5). Objections with regard to alleged irregularities in counting procedures must be dealt with by the Counting Officer.

A: In this election, in most cases, counting will happen at the voting station in. Votes may only be counted in a different central place if this is needed to ensure free and fair elections or if the votes came from a mobile voting station and are taken to a central place for counting.

Provisional results will be announced outside the voting station when counting is finished, and then sent to the IEC through the office of the MEO. The results should reach the MEO within a few hours after the close of voting. From there they are also sent to the IEC at provincial and national level for checking and finalisation.

A: As soon as a ballot box is full, the Presiding Officer must, in the presence of the agents and candidates that are there, close the opening through which ballot papers were put in the ballot box with a seal. After the last vote has been cast, the last ballot box and any unused ballot boxes must be closed and sealed similarly. The Presiding Officer must allow party agents present to also affix their seal to the ballot boxes.

A sealed box must remain sealed until opened for counting and must remain in the voting station, within sight of everyone present, until counting starts. If counting takes place at another counting venue, it must remain at the voting station until transported to the counting venue.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)

A: The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is in charge of managing and supervising the elections. The IEC has five commissioners. The Chief Electoral Officer is the main person responsible for the administration of elections. In every province the IEC has set up an office under a Provincial Election Officer (PEO).

In every local municipality a Municipal Electoral Officers (MEO), appointed by the IEC, organises voting stations, voter registration and runs the elections in that municipality. In most areas the MEO will probably be the municipal manager. In bigger areas someone else can be appointed or delegated to do the work. The MEO is responsible for employing staff and making all the practical arrangements for voter registration and elections.

The MEO will employ election officials for each voting station. The appointments must be presented to the Party Liaison Committee. A few full time staff are already employed by most municipalities to work on elections. All their election related work takes place under the direction of the MEO and the PEO or other IEC structures. The MEO and the full time staff who work in the municipality may not take orders on any election work from the mayor or councillors.

A: The IEC must appoint a Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer for each voting station. The Presiding Officer must manage, co-ordinate and supervise the voting and is responsible for the safe-keeping of voting materials. Objections against alleged irregularities in voting procedures must be dealt with by the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer must also ensure order at the voting station, for which he or she may order the security services present to assist. The Presiding Officer has the power to exclude persons from the boundary of a voting station. The Deputy Presiding Officer must act as Presiding Officer when the Presiding Officer is absent, temporarily unable to act or when the office of Presiding Officer for the voting station is vacant.

A: A mistake in the conduct of an election or a failure to comply with the law does not necessarily

mean that the election must be set aside, unless the mistake materially affected the

result of the election.

  • a member, employee or officer of the IEC;
  • a voter present for the purpose of voting; and
  • persons with specific authorisation from the IEC.
  • a party agent who is entitled to be present at a voting station;
  • a ward candidate;
  • party candidates that have been granted permission by the Presiding Officer to be present;
  • a person appointed by an accredited observer;

A: Yes

  • Call Centre Toll free number: 0800 11 8000
  • National Office number: 012 622 5700
  • Email: info@elections.org.za

Registration of a party

A:Only parties that are registered with the IEC can contest a municipal election. Parties can register

nationally or for a particular municipality. If a party is registered for a particular municipality, it can only participate in elections for the council of that municipality.

A: Upon application in the form, prescribed by the IEC, the Chief Electoral Officer registers a party for a particular municipality. If the party is not yet represented in a council in that area the application must be accompanied by

  • the party’s deed of foundation, adopted at a meeting and signed by 50 qualified voters;
  • a fee of R 200 for each municipality the party registers for; and
  • proof of publication of a prescribed notice in a newspaper circulating in the municipal area,

The publication of that notice must take place at least 7 days before the application with the

Chief Electoral Officer.

A: Anyone who wants to object against the registration of party can lodge a written objection

containing the grounds for the objection with the Chief Electoral Officer before or on the date

of the application.

General

A: There are police and/or army personnel at every voting station to ensure your safety.

A: You can take anyone who is at least 18 years old and not a party agent with you to the voting station to help you cast your vote. You can also ask the presiding officer at the voting station to help you and/or provide you with a voting aid known as a universal ballot template (UBT).

A: No, voting is not compulsory in SA,however voting is an important civic duty and we encourage all South Africans to participate.

A: If you’re a member of the SANDF or SAPS and are on duty on Election Day for National and Provincial electios, you can apply for a special vote. Please see special votes for details.