In 27 days, South Africa will undergo its six democratic local government elections, where service delivery will be the key decision-maker in many municipalities.
2021 Elections: How to change your address
Political parties have been hot on the campaign trail since the proclamation of the 2021 Elections date was confirmed by a recent Constitutional Court judgment.
Campaign promises made by the African National Congress (ANC) and opposition parties, the DA and EFF, will ring loud for millions of registered voters when the time comes to mark a tick next to their council member of choice on Monday 1 November 2021.
Municipal elections, which take place every five years, are crucial to ensuring there is greater access to accountability between communities and national government.
New and existing council members will be elected for all district, metropolitan and local municipalities in each of the country’s nine provinces. The representatives elected by the people will have a daunting task ahead in addressing the piling issues currently facing a majority of metros in the country.
With voter registration officially closed, eligible voters can still change their address information in order to cast their ballot in the correct district.
Here’s a guide on how to change your address:
- Check your voter registration details and make a note of your voting station and voting district number.
- Visit the IEC’s Voting Station Finder and search for your current home address. On the map, locate the voting district number (blue digits within the green borders of your district). Compare the voting district number here to your registration details – if they’re not the same, you need to re-register in your new voting district.
- If voter registration was open, you would have to re-register. However, in this case, you must contact your local IEC office responsible for your voting district. It’s best to phone the office and make an appointment beforehand. You can check your local IEC office here.
- Wait at least 7 days and then check your voter registration details again to make sure your voting district and voting station have changed.
Municipal elections: How to cast your vote
There two methods of voting at the 2021 Elections. Applications for special votes close on Monday 4 October 2021 and this process will take place two days before the rest of the country heads to the polls.
Special votes allows a registered voter who can’t vote at their voting station on election day to apply to vote on a predetermined day before election day.
This special circumstance is open to South Africans who are:
- unable to travel to voting stations due to physical or mental impairments; and
- unable to cast a ballot at the designated voting station on Election Day.
When your special vote application is successful, these are the next steps:
- Your thumbnail is marked with indelible ink.
- You receive the relevant ballot paper(s).
- You mark the ballot(s) in secret, place and seal the ballot(s) in an unmarked envelope.
- The unmarked envelope is placed in another envelope that is marked with your name, ID number and voting district (VD) number. The use of two envelopes is to ensure the secrecy of your ballot (the outer envelope is discarded before counting).
- IEC officials take the envelope and place it in a secure ballot box for special votes.
- Your name is marked off the Voters’ Roll with “SV” to indicate that you have cast a special vote.
Special voting for the 2021 Elections will take place at 23 151 voting stations (and home visits) nationwide between Saturday 30 October 2021 and Sunday 31 October 2021 from 08:00.
The other way to cast your vote is by visiting the voting station designated to you on the day of the 2021 Elections. Here is what you should expect:
When you get to the voting station
- You will give your ID/TIC/smartcard to the IEC Official on duty.
- He or she will look for your name on the voters’ roll and cross it off.
- An IEC official will give you a ballot paper that he/she will stamp at the back. This prevents people from trying to bring ballots in from elsewhere.
What information will be on the ballot paper?
- The full name of each political party
- The abbreviated (shortened) name of each party
- The logo or symbol of each party
- A photograph of each party leader
- A blank space to indicate the party of your choice
How to cast your vote
An IEC official will show you where there is an open voting booth. You will be alone in the booth to make your mark. Your vote is your secret.
- Make your mark in the box next to the party of your choice.
- Be careful not to let your mark touch any of the walls of the box.
- Make only one mark on the ballot paper: – It is best to make a cross like this: ✗
- Any mark is fine as long as it shows who you are voting for. This helps the voting officials when they count the votes.
- If you have made a mistake, do not put your ballot paper in the box. Tell the IEC official. He or she will then cancel your ballot paper. You will be given a new one.
- Fold each ballot paper in half, so nobody can see your mark.
- An IEC official will check the stamp on the back of each ballot. You then place your ballot papers in the relevant ballot boxes.