News / Africa

South Africa to Deploy Technology to Improve Election Credibility

African National Congress (ANC) re-elected President Jacob Zuma, right, with his new deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, left, during their elective conference at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Dec. 18, 2012.
African National Congress (ANC) re-elected President Jacob Zuma, right, with his new deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, left, during their elective conference at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Dec. 18, 2012.
Peter Clottey
The spokesperson of South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says the electoral body will deploy new technologies as part of its preparations to administer a credible election scheduled for May 7.

Last week, South Africa President Jacob Zuma announced the country will hold its fifth national general elections on May 7, following consultations with senior officials at the IEC.

IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela says parliament has amended the country’s law, which she says, will for the first time enable South Africans living abroad to register and vote at the embassies near them.

“That was a watershed legislative amendment,” said Bapela. “We already have received more than 3,000 applications of South Africans that were registered in our various missions in all the countries where South Africa is represented abroad.”

Bapela cited some of the new technologies that the IEC will deploy during the May vote.

“We have a hand-held scanner, and when you come to our voter station when we scan your ID it basically gives us a profile of who you are. But, on top of that we’ve got equipment that scans a form that gives us residences of people that come into our voting station. So that in that way we are able to segment the voters roll and know who resides where and why they are supposed to be in that voting station,” said Bapela.

She says IEC records show that there has been a surge in voter registration in South Africa as the electoral body compiles a voters list to be used for the election.

Bapela says prospective voters went to the polling stations to register in spite of bad weather.

“Our target for the 2014 election was 2,000,000, but to our surprise we were able to register an additional 1,259,560 new voters to our voters roll. It means our voters roll is now sitting at 25.3 million, which translates to 300,000 additional new registered voters on our voters roll. To us it’s quite a huge feat,” said Bapela.

She says the electoral body plans to train about 200,000 officers to help administer the elections.

“We have just finalized the training of our staff. For the final voter registration weekend, we had 55,000 staff working throughout the whole country,” said Bapela. “[But] as we go to the election, the number triples. We will have more than 200,000 people working in the various voting stations in our country. So ensuring that the staff is ready for the elections becomes extremely critical at the level that we are now.”

Bapela says the IEC has launched a nationwide voter education campaign that is being broadcast on television, radio as well as on social media platforms.
Clottey interview with Kate Bapela, Spokesperson for Electoral Commission
Clottey interview with Kate Bapela, Spokesperson for Electoral Commissioni
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Laghdaf Abadila
February 11, 2014 6:25 PM
This improvement gives great hope to those who believe in South Africa's democracy. Let us wait and see the results in next May 7th, 2014 elections.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid