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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora