Voter registration now open to the public

STAFF REPORTER

With the 2016 local government elections scheduled to be held in mid-August as announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address, voter registration will take place on Saturday and Sunday March 5 and 6.

Municipal elections are held every five years to elect councillors who will be responsible for governing a municipality for the next five years. A mixed or hybrid system of both the ward and the proportional representation (PR) system is used for municipal elections.

The current term of office of municipal councils ends on May 18 this year.

The exact date of the 2016 local government elections will only be known when the election is officially proclaimed by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. In terms of the constitution, the election must be held between May 18 and August 16 this year.

So, to have your say in the 2016 local government elections, you need to be registered as a voter.

Who can register?

A person can register to vote in South Africa if they:

* Are a South African citizen.

* Are at least 16 years old (you can only vote from age 18 though).

* Have a green, bar-coded ID book; smartcard ID; or valid temporary identity certificate (TIC).

Where and when to register?

Apply for registration during office hours at the local Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) office responsible for your voting district, or register to vote on special registration days (often called registration weekends).

When to update your registration details

You must update your registration details when:

* Your address changes.

* Your ID number changes (for example, if you have a new ID number due to change in date of birth).

What happens if you’ve moved

During local government elections and by-elections, you must vote at the voting station where you are registered, and you must register in the voting district in which you live most of the time.

If you are already registered as a voter and you have recently moved or you realise you will be living in another place on election day (for example, if you are a student), you must go back to a registration point and fill in a form to change your registration details.

You will then be moved to the correct voting district, and your name will be put on the voters roll for that district. To find out where your correct voting station is, visit http://maps.elections.org.za/vsfinder/

What happens if your voting district has changed?

If you have been informed that your voting district boundaries have changed, you may need to re-register in another voting district.

To find out where your correct voting station is, you can go to http://maps.elections.org.za/ vsfinder

How do I know if or where I’m registered?

To check your registration details, you can:

* Send an SMS with your ID number to 32810 (R1 per SMS).

* Download the IEC our mobile app and enter your ID number.

* Check your registration details online.

* Check at your voting station during a registration weekend.

* Check at your local IEC office during office hours.

Local IEC offices

Paarl, 15 Ottawa Street – 021 872 8213

Stellenbosch, Reyneveld Plaza, Shop No.4, Reyneveld Street – 021 882 9054

Strand, Municipal Offices, Room 1004B, on the corner of Fagan and Main roads – 021 850 4260

Constantia, Alphen Municipal Building, Main Road – 021 794 0021

Bellville, Nobel Park Shopping Centre, 1st Floor, Shop UG 20, Old Paarl Road – 021 948 0189

Mitchell’s Plain, Alliance Francaise Building, 15610 Hazeldene Avenue, Portland – 021 391 0885

How to contact the IEC for information about the 2016 local government elections

* Call the IEC contact centre on 0800 11 8000, Monday to Friday from 7am to 9pm.

* You can log on to the IEC website at www.elections.org.za

* Use social media (responsive Monday to Friday, from 8am to 5pm) on the Facebook site: www.facebook.com/IECSouthAfrica, Twitter: @IECSouthAfrica, or you can email: info@elections.org.za or SMS: 32810 (SMS your ID number for your registration status and details of current voting station).