Voters’ Roll Crises and the need for Electoral Reforms in South Africa

This paper considers the implications of the Constitutional Court ruling that
declared the 2013 Tlokwe by-elections unconstitutional. This ruling was
because the voters’ roll did not contain the addresses of voters as required by
electoral legislation and it has cast a shadow on the credibility of elections
in South Africa. The Constitutional Court gave the Electoral Commission
until the end of June 2018 to correct this problem which affects over 10
million voters. The question that this paper discusses is whether the Electoral
Commission will find a solution to this conundrum before the national general
elections scheduled to take place in 2019. This is especially urgent because
the Electoral Commission has already indicated its incapacity to perform this
task in the face of inadequate resources. The paper also looks at the nature
of the problem regarding the voters’ register and the voting district within
which it is premised. In an attempt to find a solution to this problem the
author undertook a small survey to establish whether political parties used
the addresses of voters to conduct their campaign work. The paper concludes
by suggesting electoral reforms that may resolve the problem of the voters’
roll and improve the overall management of elections in South Africa.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: credibility; integrity; voters’ roll; voting district; electoral reform; Electoral Commission; Constitutional Court
journal of african elections vol16 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa