South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has urged his country’s eligible voters to register in readiness for the upcoming 2016 municipal elections.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has designated March 5-6 as a voter registration weekend ahead of the polls.
“I wish to call upon all eligible citizens to go out in their numbers to their voting districts and stations to register or to update their information, so that they are ready for this important democratic process,” Zuma said.
The 2016 South African municipal elections will be held between 18 May and 16 August 2016 for all districts and local municipalities in all nine existing provinces. Municipal elections are held every five years.
The upcoming polls are expected to be the most fiercely contested local elections since the end of apartheid in 1994.
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) will face a herculean task in trying to maintain control of the major metropolitans like Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Over 22,000 registration stations, 1,700 more than the last Municipal Elections in 2011, will be opened during the registration.
The stations will be open from 8a.m to 5p.m. To assist this registration process, the offices of the Department of Home Affairs will be open over the weekend.
“I urge all South Africans to go and register, or to verify their status so as to fulfil this important duty as citizens of a democratic country. We also encourage young people who are turning 18 years old this year and others to go out in great numbers to register to vote so that that they can have their say in who governs our municipalities. Let us all go out in numbers to our voting stations this weekend,” said Zuma.