IEC calls for calm as election day approaches

06 May 2019 - 08:16 By Iavan Pijoos
An IEC official scans an ID as South Africans cast their vote in the previous election. The IEC has urged community members not to engage in unrest, protests or demonstrations which might impact voting on Election Day.
An IEC official scans an ID as South Africans cast their vote in the previous election. The IEC has urged community members not to engage in unrest, protests or demonstrations which might impact voting on Election Day.
Image: Gallo Images / Dino Lloyd

With only two days to go before the 2019 national and provincial elections, the electoral commission (IEC) has called for calm to allow voting to take place peacefully.

The Electoral Act prohibits political meetings, marches, demonstrations or any other political event from taking place on voting day. It also prohibits strikes and lock-outs in the public transport and telecommunications sectors.

"The time for robust campaigning has ended. Now is the time for voting.

"Let's give voters the time and space to consider their options and make their choices this week in an atmosphere of peaceful reflection,” chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said.

More than 200,000 electoral staff had completed training and would be placed at over 28,700 voting stations across the country.

Mamabolo said the commission has urged community members not to engage in unrest, protests or demonstrations which might impact voting on the day.

He said they had engaged with security agencies, including the police to ensure that "no disruptions to the elections are tolerated".

Mamabolo has also denied claims that pension payments would be delayed this week.

He said minister of social development Susan Shabangu had confirmed that payments scheduled for Monday and Tuesday would be made.  

Special voting takes place on Monday and Tuesday from 9am to 5pm, and voting on election day, May 8, takes place from 7am to 9pm.

Voters must take with them their green barcoded ID documents, a smartcard ID or a valid temporary ID certificate in order to vote. No other form of ID is accepted.

Meanwhile, the commission had also received a number of complaints of electoral misconduct.

The complaints include:

  • Minor improprieties such as the use of unsavoury epithets to blatant calls to violence;
  • Provocation and prankishness to outright acts of disinformation and the destruction of posters of opponents;
  • Offering inducements to vote for a party to threats against the rights of workers to vote; and
  • False statements to puerile name calling.

"Rhetoric has often undermined reasonableness and rationality in the high-stakes contest for political power.

"Leaders of political parties, industry and civil society are reminded that our democracy is underpinned by our collective political maturity and our adherence to and promotion of the laws in place to ensure free and fair elections," the commission said.


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