IN DEPTH:1 572 registration stations in WC open for registration weekend

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in the Western Cape says it is ready to assist eligible voters to register on 18 and 19 November 2023, as part of the IEC’s registration weekend.

IEC Western Cape Electoral Officer, Michael Hendrickse, said all of its 1 572 registration stations across the province will be open from 8am until 5pm on both days.

Of the 1 572 voting stations, 29 are temporary structures and 687 are schools. The other stations include community halls or libraries and church buildings.

Hendrickse briefed the media at the IEC’s Western Cape office in Belville, on Thursday.

‘’The Electoral Commission (IEC) in the Western Cape is calling on all eligible citizens who are not registered to vote, to register over the weekend of 18 & 19 November at their voting station. The IEC is also inviting voters who are already registered but have changed their residential addresses, to re-register in order to be allocated to the correct segment of the Voters’ Roll. It is also important that every registered voter check their details to ensure that their current address is correctly reflected and that they know where their voting station is, as in some cases, the venues have changed. This will ensure that all eligible voters are able to vote in the upcoming National and Provincial Elections in 2024 (NPE 2024).’’

SCREENSHOT: IEC Western Cape Electoral Officer, Michael Hendrickse, briefing media t IEC HQ in Belville

There are, as of 12 November 2023, more than 3.1 million (3 128 995) registered voters in the Western Cape, with 61% of eligible voters (18 years and older) who are registered in the Western Cape.

Hendrickse specifically urged the youth to register this weekend. According to statistics from the IEC, just over 406 000 voters who are younger than 30 years old.

‘’The IEC has placed particular emphasis on getting the youth to register.  We also need to place this Registration Weekend in context – it is not something done in isolation of the ongoing registration and outreach activities of the IEC. Our Outreach campaign has been rolling out with various stakeholders on an ongoing basis, and has recently been ramped up with the employment of additional staff,’’ said Michael Hendrickse, IEC Western Cape Electoral Officer.

‘’As part of a national initiative, the IEC in the province embarked on the School Democracy Project in partnership with WCED to engage, educate, and encourage learners to understand the importance of voting in a representative democracy and to register them at the schools or show them how to use the IEC online registration platform. On overage we do around 200 school visits each year to conduct Civic and Democracy Education, Voter Registration, assist with Representative Council of Learners (RCL) elections and leadership workshops.’’

 ‘’The IEC also has a Tertiary Institution Campaign which was launched at a provincial level at the Bellville campus of CPUT University earlier this year. Through the campaign, IEC officials have attended campuses of the universities and TVET Colleges in the province and have conducted workshops, voter registration and participated in seminars on campuses,’’ added Hendrickse.  



He said that the IEC has also engaged citizens at Thusong Centres, SASSA points, at taxi ranks, schools, clinics, old age homes, youth centres. ‘’Unfortunately, we do not always have access to gated communities, in which case we will leave behind information,’’ said Michael Hendrickse, IEC Western Cape Electoral Officer.

IEC officials is expected to visit the 34 correctional facilities in the Western Cape in January 2024 to conduct voter education, and then to register eligible prisoners.

4 698 staff have been recruited at voting stations across the province for registration weekend. Of these, 2 707 are unemployed, 2 096 are under the age of 35 years while the majority of the staff (3646) are female, and 63 persons are disabled. In the run up to the elections, the IEC in the province said they have also temporarily employed additional 236 Outreach staff across municipalities to increase its reach.

Hendrickse assured that load shedding will not be of concern, as 3 144 Voter Management Devices (VMDs) used to register voters, will be deployed across the Western Cape. The VMD is a portable tablet device with the latest App Upgrades and batteries charged – a fully charged VMD can operate offline for approx. 72 hours.


IEC Western Cape Electoral Officer, Michael Hendrickse, urged citizens to check their registration status, saying this registration weekend should not be taken for granted.

‘’I would like to emphasise that it is of utmost importance for eligible citizens in the province to take this first registration weekend very serious. Our country is a representative democracy which means that citizens are required to register to be eligible to vote for their preferred representative(s) in NPE 2024.  The simple fact is that if one is not registered, you cannot vote – in fact you do not even have the option to vote or not to vote if you are not registered.’’

‘’There is a saying that bad representatives are elected by good citizens who do not vote. The only way to hold representatives accountable in a representative democracy is through the power of the vote at election time –it is an opportunity to look at the track records of parties and candidates, to assess the feasibility of their plans and to call them out on their promises,’’ he added. 

‘’Whether one is registering for the first time, or updating their details, the process is very easy and paperless. The voter just simply brings either her/his/their green barcoded ID book or smartcard ID, or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate (TIC) and provide their address to the IEC Officer at the registration station. When the details of the voter are captured and processed, she/he/they will receive an SMS within 24 hours confirming the status of the registration.’’

Citizens can also register online on the IEC’s website

Hendrickse said that should one be unable to register or update your IEC details, this Registration Weekend, citizens can register at the local offices of the IEC during office hours.


Done By: Mitchum George


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