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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.