Fears unnamed streets could affect voters

New housing developments in the Eastern Cape where streets are yet to be named could hinder the newly launched Independent Electoral commission’s (IEC) address-harvesting campaign.

The campaign might also be affected by the renaming of towns in the province.

These were some of the concerns raised by representatives who attended the provincial launch at the East London International Convention Centre yesterday.

The commission is on a mission to collect addresses of people who are registered to vote after the Constitutional Court made the judgment last year that the commission must collect all available addresses.

So far more than 15 million addresses have been captured, with about three million still outstanding.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, a total of 46 220 addresses must be captured, while the Buffalo City Metro needs to collect 42 377.

While IEC commissioner Bongani Finca commended the strides that had been made, he said the number of political party representatives who had attended was a matter of concern.

Only representatives from the ANC, COPE and ACDP attended the launch.

“It’s a pity that political parties are not here to take part. They will miss an opportunity to ask all the questions they want to ask.

“The train has now boarded and they will be left behind,” Finca said.

He had heard some very unkind words about how the IEC had been irresponsible with voter addresses, he said.

“When we started the voters’ roll in 1998 we had to start from nothing.

“The white people had their voters’ roll, the Transkeians had their own – otherwise there was no South African voters’ roll.”

Finca said their main objective then had been to capture names and identity document numbers, but the judgment meant a credible voters’ roll with credible addresses had to be compiled.

Nelson Mandela Bay IEC supervisor Crosby Bhacela said he was worried that at some point the Constitutional Court could judge that people whose addresses did not appear on the voters’ roll might not be allowed to vote.

“There is a tendency of building new developments with no street names. For example, Joe Slovo township in Nelson Mandela Bay – my fear is that some of these people will not be able to vote,” Bhacela said.

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