The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is ready to give residents of the Vuwani region another opportunity to register to vote in this year’s general election.
This follows a poor turnout at some of the voting stations in the region over the past weekend. IEC provincial electoral officer Nkaro Mateta said they strived to make every effort to ensure that residents were registered. She said they had made sure that facilities were available, but in the end, just a few stations had a poor voter registration turnout.
Talking to Limpopo Mirror on Tuesday, she said that, depending on what the leadership in the area decided, they were ready to give residents another opportunity to register for the upcoming elections. “We told residents that issues of demarcation need to be solved with the government and not us. However, we are available to provide our resources and ensure that residents register to vote,” she said.
Some of the region’s residents went on a stay-away from registration after a meeting between the Minister of Corporative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (COGHSTA), Dr Zweli Mkhize, and the Pro Makhado Demarcation Task Team.
During the meeting held with the residents from Vuwani last week, the Pro Makhado Demarcation Task Team remained resolute that, without a formal commitment from Government, no participation in any political and government activities would take place. According to the residents, the minister reported back to the residents with feedback on the redetermination of boundaries and provision of services.
Mkhize reported that he had held a meeting with the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB), and the board had committed to consider the application to re-determine the boundaries of the affected municipalities in the Vhembe District Municipality when the window period of redetermination opened.
He also reported that on the provision of services, this section of the law would be difficult to invoke, since it involved a long process that would also include for Collins Chabane Local Municipality to take a resolution. However, he emphasized the need for the Pro Makhado Demarcation Task Team and the Provincial Department of COGHSTA to continue to engage on how to implement the outstanding projects effectively and enhance service delivery.
Following the meeting, the task team felt the primary issue concerning demarcation had not been properly addressed. The expectation was that the minister would commit the government so that, when the window period was open, the Minister of COGHSTA or the MEC for COGHSTA would approach the MDB to consider the re-determination of boundaries as had been the case during the establishment of Collins Chabane Local Municipality.
According to the statement from the task team, the minister noted the input from residents and promised to engage with his colleagues at the inter-ministerial task team to make an informed decision.
The task team’s deputy chairperson, Mr Arnold Mulaudzi, said they were only waiting for the commitment from the government.
“Without this commitment, we will discourage residents from participating in any government programmes,” he said.