Eastern Cape Legislature embarks on voter education campaign

JUNE 22, 2016

The Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature launched its Voter Education Campaign in Peddie on Monday to encourage and educate citizens to exercise their right to vote. Young people braved the cold weather conditions and came in their numbers as the institution unpacked relevant information on the importance of voting.

Addressing the audience the Hon. Speaker of the Legislature, Noxolo Kiviet, appealed to the youth to act responsible by voting to defend democracy. She told participants that according to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) statistics for the last local government elections only 47% registered to vote in the Peddie area.

The Speaker emphasized on the need to encourage potential voters to do the right thing focusing in arears with low voter turnout registrations.

“We are here to make our people aware that their voices counts and by staying away from polling stations you are selling away democracy,” she said.

The IEC took the platform to clarify the process of voting and further highlighted that special votes will be opened for two days prior the election date for eligible voters. A special vote 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.

It was also explained that the Electoral Commission together with the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB), has developed a voting aid, the Universal Ballot Template (UBT), to assist persons with disabilities and special needs to have an independent and secret vote during elections.

Voter Education campaign is an instrument to enhance public participation as the cornerstone for constitutional democracy. The campaign is an initiative of the Legislature in partnership with the IEC to reach as many people as possible ahead of the coming municipal elections.

This initiative took off the ground after an observation has been made of the poor turnout by youth in voting.  Its key focus is encouraging first time voters, influencing the youth and other potential voters to participate maximally in the upcoming local government elections scheduled for 03 August2016.

The campaign which continues until the 25 of July will be rolled out as follows:

  • KSD & Ngcobo                          : 1 July 2016
  • Mdanstane                                 : 11 July 2016
  • Nkonkobe & Mnquma             : 19 July 2016
  • Sarah Baartman                       : 21 July 2016
  • Nyandeni & Ngquza                 : 4 July 2016
  • Mhlontlo & Lukhanji                : 8 July 2016
  • Ntabankulu & Mt Ayliff          : 22 July 2016
  • Port Elizabeth & Uitenhage   : 25 July 2016