With just a few hours to go before the voter’s roll closes, the Electoral Commission has made it easier than ever to register to vote using their website.
The online voter registration portal, registertovote.elections.org.za, is functional and has proven to be the most effective method, allowing everyone to update their details from the comfort of their own homes, work places and communities ahead of the 2024 National and Provincial Elections.
Voters can use this portal to register to vote, view or update their current voter address, find their voting station, request a special vote, or simply browse for important information such as upcoming election dates in their ward.
You can register to vote by following these easy steps:
- Get your SA ID card/book ready and go to the link registertovote.elections.org.za.
- Enter your personal information: ID number, name and surname, and mobile number. The Chief Electoral Officer must compile and maintain a national common voters’ roll. The personal information required is for purposes of achieving this legal requirement and will not be used for any other purpose as required by the Protection of Personal Information Act, No. 4 of 2013.
- A one-time pin (OTP) will be sent to your cellphone number. Insert the pin and click on “confirm pin”.
- Capture your home address. You can type your address and select from the list or enter your address and click the search button.
- Review and acknowledge your information in the voter registration summary. This page will also tell you your ward and voting district.
- Tick the declaration box and then click on ID verification.
- Take a photo or upload a scan of your SA ID and click on continue.
- Your voter registration application has been submitted successfully. The IEC will verify the application and will notify you once it has been processed. You will receive an sms notification.
To submit an application to register to vote, you must meet the following requirements:
- be a South Africa citizen;
- be at least 16 years (you can only vote from age 18).
What you need to upload when using online voter registration:
- green barcoded ID book
- smart ID card,
- temporary ID certificate (TIC)
You are only registered to vote once you have received a receipt via SMS or email, or have confirmed that you are registered.
Voter registration for the 2024 General Elections will close at midnight, which is the day of proclamation of the General Election 2024.
The President and the Provincial Premiers will proclaim Election Day, 29 May 2024, during the course of today.
Citizens have until midnight to use the platform for voter registration and update their particulars. Citizens out of country can also use the same voter registration platform until midnight.
Citizens may also visit IEC offices in the all municipalities to register to vote. The offices will remain operational until 16:00.
Voters can also reach out to the Chat-bot on the 0600 88 00 00 WhatsApp line or call 0800118000.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa setting the 2024 National and Provincial Elections date for 29 May.
The President has, in line with section 17(2) of the Electoral act 73 of 1998, consulted with the IEC on the election date.
“This pronouncement of the Election Date provides an unambiguous motivation for the Commission to pull out all the stops in the intensification of preparations for Election Day. The Electoral Commission reiterates its commitment and readiness to ensure a successful 2024 general elections,” the Commission said in a statement.
Furthermore, the President convened a meeting with all nine provincial Premiers and the IEC to discuss the state of readiness for the General Elections.
“It creates certainty for us. It creates certainty for those who want to participate as contestants, be they on party lists or as independent candidates,” said IEC Deputy CEO, Masego Shiburi.
Shiburi said the President announced the date in consultation with the Commission, as that is the statute requirement.
“With each election, the number of competing parties increase. For these elections, we will also have independent candidates and their numbers are still indeterminate because candidate nomination is yet to open.
“Once we finalise candidate nomination, we will be able to print ballots and make them available in our missions to those who will be voting abroad but mostly importantly, to those who will be voting in the country,” Shiburi said.
The announcement of the Election Date comes after the successful voter registration campaign, which included two general registration weekends, an overseas voter registration drive, campus activations and registration within Correctional Services centres.
The 2024 Elections coincide with South Africa’s celebration of 30 years of freedom and democracy.
President Ramaphosa has called on all eligible voters to fully participate in this important and historic milestone of the democratic calendar.
“Beyond the fulfilment of our constitutional obligation, these upcoming elections are also a celebration of our democratic journey and a determination of the future that we all desire.
“I call on all South Africans to exercise their democratic right to vote and for those who will be campaigning to do so peacefully, within the full observance of the law. We also urge unregistered voters to use the online registration platform to register,” President Ramaphosa said.
According to the IEC, more than 27 million South Africans are registered to vote and 14 million others remain unregistered but are eligible to do so.
The Electoral Commission has reminded South Africans that while the Election Date has been set and announced, eligible voters have until Friday, 23 February 2024 to register. The latter date is the anticipated day of the proclamation of the Election Date.
Unregistered voters and those who need to update their address details can visit their local municipality office, the Electoral Commission or go to the online voter registration portal, registertovote.elections.org.za or reach the chat bot on 0600 88 00 00 WhatsApp line.
Following the proclamation of the Election Date, the Electoral Commission will publish the Election Timetable in the Government Gazette after consultation with the National Party Liaison Committee.
The Election Timetable will outline the various cut-off dates for the performance of certain electoral activities. The timetable will include the following:
– Certification of the voters’ roll.
– Publication of details of voting stations.
– Submission of candidates nomination.
– Submission of notice to vote outside of the country.
– Applications for special votes .
Meanwhile, the Commission has reminded eligible voters of the general rule in elections. That is, a person must register where they live and vote at the voting station where they are registered.
“The only exception to the rule is that a voter may vote outside of the voting district of registration upon notifying the Electoral Commission by a date to be regulated by the Election Timetable,” the Commission said.
A total of R22 million has been allocated to support South African spaza shop owners, supermarkets, and general dealers in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Zimele Traders Fund by the Ithala Development Finance Corporation was announced by Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC, Siboniso Duma, on Tuesday.
Duma said spaza shop owners, including supermarkets and general dealers in the province, who are strictly South Africans can apply for a grant in the form of trading stock to the value of R20 000.
“A total of R10 million has been set aside for this purpose. We are targeting 500 spaza shops across the province,” Duma said.
This follows an announcement made towards the end of last year, where the MEC revealed the department’s intention to embark on an entrepreneurship revolution, focusing on spaza shops located in rural areas and the townships.
Ithala SOC limited and Ithala Development Finance Corporation (IDFC), which are the department entities, are deepening support for entrepreneurs in the informal economy.
Spaza shop owners have long complained about being forced out of the market because they lack the buying power, while their competitors, who are mostly foreigners, buy in bulk which makes them have a competitive edge.
The MEC said the department has reconfigured the bulk buying warehouse at KwaSithebe in Mandeni, with a cost of more than R15 million.
“We have added a call centre and the online ordering system. The first bulk purchase stock for spaza shops, supermarkets and general dealers is valued at R10 million.
“In addition, we have made available 17 trucks to move the stock across the province. This is to create direct access stock, reduce costs of goods and further make them accessible within local municipalities,” Duma said.
As a permanent arrangement, the department is identifying buildings that are owned by Ithala across the province to be used as warehouses.
The MEC called on eligible spaza shop owners, supermarkets, and general dealers to submit their applications for the grant.
The applications opened on Tuesday, 20 February, and will close on 16 March 2024.
“Successful applications will be announced on 15 April 2024. Applications will run indefinitely,” he said.
Duma also announced that through the Zimele Fund, a total of about R11.9 million has been set aside for a soft loan of up to R100 000 at 2% interest for a co-operative and 4% fixed interest for a Close Corporation/ Pty.
For a quotation request, shop owners are requested to use the WhatsApp number 072 521 0897 or 031 319 5500 for enquiries.
Emails can be send to email@example.com/ Website: http://www.kznbulk-buying.co.za.
The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, has welcomed the declaration of De Berg Nature Reserve as South Africa’s 30th Ramsar site under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.
The Ramsar Convention encourages the designation of sites containing representative, rare or unique wetlands, or wetlands that are important for conserving biological diversity.
“The conservation and restoration of wetlands is crucial to achieving many of our national and global sustainable development goals. Estuaries, marshes and vleis, rivers and lakes, and the biodiversity that they preserve matter for our health, food supply, tourism and jobs.
“Wetlands are vital for humans, ecosystems and our climate, providing essential ecosystem services such as water regulation, including flood control and water purification,” Creecy said on Friday.
Through the Working for Wetlands Programme, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) has invested over R1.4 billion in the rehabilitation of 1 873 wetlands and created 43 662 jobs.
The programme commenced in the year 2000 and is being implemented in all nine provinces of South Africa by a dedicated team of experts working closely with communities.
De Berg Nature Reserve is located along the headwaters of the Dwars River in the highest part of Mpumalanga approximately, 20 kilometres north of the town of Dullstroom, and lies adjacent to the Verloren Valei Ramsar Site.
At an elevation of just over 2 300 metres above sea level, the Ramsar site contains the highest altitude wetlands in Mpumalanga, consisting of numerous valley bottom, seep wetlands and mountain streams, and represents some of the most pristine and habitat diverse watercourses in the South African grassland biome.
“The Ramsar site, which is a biodiversity hotspot, not only supports numerous pristine headwater wetlands but also supports numerous threatened, critically endangered, and vulnerable species of plants and animals.
“The site falls within the Lydenburg and Sekhukhune centres of plant endemism, and has a total of 878 indigenous plant species, which includes 30 plant species that are threatened and near threatened, and includes a new species of Bulbine, (B decastroi) which can be found in the valleys of the reserve.
“This site also has 18 species of frogs, 71 reptile species, 432 bird species and a 120 mammal species, including Vandam’s girdled lizard (Smaug vandami), various crane species such as blue crane and grey-crowned crane and mountain reedbuck,” the department said.
Many of these species are also rare and vulnerable species. They include flocks of up to 30 of the vulnerable Southern Bald Ibis, which roosts on the cliffs above Ibis Falls, one of 10 iconic waterfalls that can be found at the site.
Although wetlands cover less than 3% of South Africa’s land area, they offer diverse benefits that enrich human well-being.
The department said Wetlands are increasingly regarded in South Africa as socio-ecological systems as opposed to only ecological systems.
Many of the country’s wetlands are in urban areas and are often the last remaining open areas for recreational use by the public.
“The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) – an entity of DFFE – is also actively contributing to wetland conservation through its comprehensive approach to mapping and understanding this critical ecological infrastructure, emphasizing that informed action today can make a significant difference for the future of wetlands, human well-being and biodiversity.
“Strategic Water Source Areas (SWSAs) are crucial to South Africa’s water security, and various SANBI projects provide insight into land use and protection levels in these strategically important national assets,” Creecy said.
The designation of De Berg Nature Reserve as South Africa’s 30th Ramsar Site under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance coincides with World Wetlands Day (2 February) which is commemorated under the theme “wetlands and human wellbeing”.
Once designated, these sites are added to the Convention’s List of Wetlands of International Importance and become known as Ramsar sites. In designating a wetland as a Ramsar site, countries agree to establish and oversee a management framework aimed at conserving the wetland and ensuring its wise use.
“Through the development of partnerships to monitor, protect and rehabilitate wetlands, by ensuring our wetlands are kept free of litter and invasive alien plant species and by ensuring that we follow best practices to ensure that wetlands are sustainably used for their services we show our appreciation for and acknowledge the value of wetlands and ensure that they remain in place to provide future generations with the same services,” the Minister said.
Thursday, February 1, 2024
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mosotho Moepya, is at the Zonderwater Correctional Services in Cullinan, east of Pretoria today, to oversee the inmates’ voter registration process.
The visit by the Chairperson forms part of the Electoral Commission’s voter registration drive for inmates.
The commission set aside the dates 30 January to 1 February 2024 for inmates’ registration ahead of the 2024 National and Provincial Elections.
“The Electoral Commission has worked closely with the Department of Correctional Services since 1999 to provide voter registration and voting opportunities for inmates in line with the Constitutional right extended to inmates to vote,” the Electoral Commission said in a statement.
The commission reiterated its call for all eligible inmates to participate in the upcoming elections by updating their voter registration details or register as voters.
The commission had earlier urged families of inmates to deliver identity documents (ID) to correctional centres.
It said it acknowledged that many offenders do not keep ID documents in their possession and it is for this reason family members are requested to make the necessary arrangements by delivering any of the following forms of identification: green-barcoded ID, smartcard ID or temporary identification certificate (TIC) to correctional facilities.
The Department of Correctional Services indicated that it would put all necessary measures in place to ensure that IDs are kept safe.
Home Affairs offices will be open for an extra two hours on Friday, 02 February 2024, from 16:00 to 18:00 for citizens to collect their IDS.
Offices will then be open for nine hours on Saturday and Sunday from 08h00 to 17h00 for South Africans to collect their IDs.
This in support of the Electoral Commission’s second Voter Registration Weekend in preparation for the general elections of the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures.
The Department of Home Affairs said in a statement that services to be offered are application and collection of IDs and applications for Temporary Identification Certificates (TICs). TICs cost R70 and are issued on the spot.
“With these documents, eligible voters will be able to register for the 2024 national and provincial elections,” said the department.
Clients can now book collection appointments before visiting Home Affairs offices, using the Branch Appointment Booking System (BABS) which is available at www.dha.gov.za through the link: BABS.
Alternatively, clients can simply visit the offices without making a booking.
Home Affairs Deputy Minister Njabulo Nzuza said: “We want to assist those who need an ID to participate in the voter registration an opportunity to come and collect their documents.
“We particularly encourage young people to come to our offices from Friday afternoon and over the weekend to come and apply or collect their documents.
“We encourage clients who have applied for identification documents and have been waiting for three weeks or more, to seize this opportunity by visiting their Home Affairs office to collect these critical documents.”
Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa has congratulated South Africa’s Bafana Bafana for winning their match against Morocco at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.
Bafana Bafana beat Morocco 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament at Stade Laurent Pokou in Ivory Coast on Tuesday night.
“What a fantastic performance by Bafana Bafana. This win shows what our national teams can achieve with the support of South Africans. Let us continue to support Bafana Bafana as they march to the AFCON 2023 quarterfinals,” the Minister said.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) said during the match, which was viewed by the whole world, the South African senior men’s team held their composure to put up a solid display that knocked out tournament favourites Morocco.
“South Africa senior national star Evidence Makgopa and Teboho Mokoena scored in the second half to hand Bafana Bafana a win and a place in the quarterfinal where they will face Cape Verde on Saturday,” SAFA said.
Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille has expressed delight at the impressive number of travellers coming to South Africa from the African continent and has highlighted the strategic decisions that contributed to the growth in specific markets.
This comes after Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said from January to December 2023, South Africa recorded an increase in the number of international arrivals which underscored the rising momentum of South Africa’s tourism sector.
According to Stats SA, international tourist arrivals from January to December 2023 totalled 8.5 million, representing a remarkable 48.9% increase when compared with the same period in 2022.
South Africa welcomed 6.4 million visitors from the rest of the African continent between January and December 2023, marking a significant 75.6% of all arrivals.
Zimbabwe and Kenya stood out for their remarkable growth, with Zimbabwe experiencing a 70.8% increase in tourist arrivals to South Africa when compared to 2022, totalling 2.1 million arrivals, while Kenya recorded a 99% surge when compared to 2022, reaching 42 403 arrivals for January to December 2023.
“Kenya’s remarkable performance can be attributed to the strategic decision by government to simplify the visa regime in 2023 as well as targeted and effective insights-driven marketing campaigns,” de Lille said.
“This recovery can be attributed to consistent efforts to showcase South Africa as a welcoming, responsible tourism destination, highlighting experiences that align with intrepid, green economy conscious travellers,” the Minister said.
Tourist arrivals from the Americas registered at 455 901 reflecting a 39.8% growth compared to the same period in 2022.
The United States of America saw 353 975 arrivals to South Africa, marking a 35% increase compared to 2022.
Strength in European markets
From January to December 2023, South Africa saw 1.2 million tourist arrivals from Europe, a 38.2% increase compared to the same period in 2022.
The United Kingdom remains the top European source market with 356 160 tourists choosing South Africa, marking a 25.8% growth compared to 2022.
Germany experienced a 41.6% increase in arrivals compared to 2022, amounting to 245 259 tourists.
This was followed by the Netherlands which saw an increase of 45.5% when compared to 2022, amounting to 131 371 tourist arrivals between January and December 2023.
Russia exhibited a dramatic growth of 74.7% when compared to 2022, contributing 28 357 arrivals in 2023
Noteworthy growth from the Asian markets
Asian markets also showed significant growth with a total 199 308 arrivals from the region, representing an astounding 69.1% when compared to the same period in 2022.
South Africa welcomed 79 774 tourists from India, a 43.7% growth compared to 2022
Notably, there were 37 164 arrivals from China, a massive 204.9% surge in 2023 when compared to 2022
Robust gains in the Middle East
The Middle East saw a robust increase with 54 339 arrivals in the January to December 2023 period – a 33.7% growth when compared to the same period in 2022. South Africa received 16 351 arrivals from Saudi Arabia in 2023, marking an increase of 42.6% when compared to 2022. The United Arab Emirates saw 6 511 arrivals to South Africa, a remarkable 110% increase when compared to 2022.
The Minister emphasised the charm and magnetism of South Africa as a tourism destination, with specific mention of the reopening of the Chinese market and the resumption of direct flight routes in 2023.
Looking ahead, de Lille said there was a need to unlock barriers such as visa regulations and limited air access and airlift for sustained growth.
The Minister expressed commitment to working with partners and government colleagues to facilitate policy and regulation revisions.
She thanked all the visitors for choosing to visit South Africa and likewise thanked South Africans for their continuous hospitality and warm welcome shown to visitors.
Grade 12 learners and students, who wish to enter the post-school system and do not have financial assistance to continue their studies, have until Wednesday to submit their applications for 2024 funding.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) officially opened the bursary application season for the 2024 academic year on 21 November 2023, and the cycle will close on 31 January 2024.
Higher Education, Science and Innovation Deputy Minister, Buti Manamela, has urged all students who wish to study in any of the public universities and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges to submit their applications before the closing date.
Manamela said NSFAS is currently funding more than 1.4 million students at public universities and TVET colleges.
“If you have Grade 10, 11 or 12 and want to study at either a university or TVET college, and are a SASSA (South African Social Security Agency) beneficiary, or have a household income less than R350 000, you can apply to qualify. You [also] need to further apply to one or two of our public institutions.
“The NSFAS funds students studying law, engineering, medicine, music, carpentry, plumbing, accounting, history, or any undergraduate qualification at a public institution. Visit www.nsfas.org.za and create a user profile under myNSFAS. All you need is a cellphone or computer that has access to the internet and an email address,” Manamela said.
NSFAS covers tuition, accommodation, learning material and a living allowance.
SASSA beneficiaries are approved almost immediately. According to the department, the scheme has provisionally funded at least 657 703 SASSA recipient applicants.
The department has also urged all applicants to submit a consent form in order to verify relevant information from third parties and ensure that NSFAS complies with all the legislative requirements.
The information is required to verify the employment status and income level of the parents, guardians, or spouses of the applicant.
It is mandatory for applicants to download and upload a completed Consent form on the NSFAS website, portal or mobile app.
NSFAS has also launched new platforms, where applicants can access their application updates at their fingertips through the downloadable NSFAS student mobile app, WhatsApp line and a USSD code.
Applicants can add NSFAS on the WhatsApp 078 519 8006 or USSD *120*67327 to track their application status.
The Electoral Commission (IEC) will on Wednesday host a media briefing to unveil plans for the second national voter registration weekend scheduled for 3 and 4 February 2024.
The second national voter registration weekend is part of the Electoral Commission’s effort to ensure that South Africans, who were unable to register to vote during the first registration drive in November 2023, have another opportunity to do so.
Existing voters will also use the opportunity to update and/or change their details before the voters’ roll is closed for the 2024 General Elections.
During the briefing, the Electoral Commission will shed light on its countrywide rollout plan ahead of the voter registration weekend.
Last week, the IEC announced that South Africans living abroad were given the opportunity to register at South Africa’s 120 high commissions, embassies and consulates on January 26, 27 and 28.
Registration for inmates at correctional centres is scheduled to take place between January 30 and February 1.
“The Commission has been informed that due to the transfer factor for inmates, correctional centres will also be accepting IDs for inmates serving sentences in distant towns or provinces. These identity documents will be transferred to the relevant facilities where inmates are incarcerated,” the IEC said in a statement.
The Department of Correctional Services has indicated that it will put all necessary measures in place to ensure that IDs are kept safe.
The IEC emphasizes that the online voter registration portal will remain accessible until the date of the proclamation of the elections, providing an additional avenue for voter registration.
According to the IEC, 23 296 voting stations will open from 08h00 to 17h00 on Saturday, 3 February and Sunday, 4 February to allow new voters to register and existing voters to check and if necessary, update their registration details ahead of the 2024 National and Provincial Elections.
Following the first registration weekend held in November 2023, the voters’ roll contains 26.8 million voters.
The Commission said it is hopeful that the second registration weekend will build on and surpass the satisfactory turnout recorded in November.
Citizens aged 16 years and older can register to vote. All they need is a South African identity document (the green barcoded ID book, smartcard ID or a valid temporary ID certificate). However, only those aged 18 and older can vote.
When registering, voters will need to provide their address or a description of where they live to allow the Electoral Commission to place them on the correct segment of the voters’ roll. However, proof of address is not a requirement to register as a voter.
The Electoral Commission helpline — 0800 11 8000 — is available to assist citizens with queries and information about the registration process and information related to locations of voting stations.