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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

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