At least seventy five members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will join their police counterparts to ensure a safe voter registration process this weekend.
“A total of 75 SANDF members will be employed, in cooperation with the SAPS, in the prevention and combating of crime and maintenance and preservation of law and order across the country during these important periods,” the Presidency said in a statement.
This comes as the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has set aside Saturday, 9 November and Sunday, 10 November, for the first major voter registration drive ahead of next year’s national election.
The SANDF members’ employment, according to the Presidency, is for the period 9 and 10 November 2013 and 8 and 9 February 2014.
The expenditure, according to the Presidency, is expected to be R1 242 000.
The IEC has set a target of getting two million new registrations by the time the voters’ roll closes before next year’s general elections.
All plans are in place for this weekend’s voter registration and the IEC is confident that all will go smoothly in the 22 263 registration stations.
Yesterday, Cabinet called on all eligible South Africans to go out in their numbers and register. It also called on voters to ensure the 2014 elections achieve a large voter turnout, as seen in every election since 1994.
“We call on all South Africans to honour our history and to continue to strengthen the legitimacy of our democracy,” said Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane.
The Presidency also announced that the SANDF was employed to assist in the maintenance and preservation of law and order during the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC) summits.
The summits were held in Pretoria from 2 – 6 November 2013, and attended by Heads of State, ministers and several diplomats from the Southern African Development Community and the Great Lakes Regions.
The emergency summits of ICGLR and ACIRC were organised by SADC and hosted by the South African government.
A total of 330 SANDF members were employed (at a cost of R335 495) – in cooperation with the South African Police Service – in the prevention and combating of crime, as well as maintenance and preservation of law and order within the country during these summits. – SAnews.gov.za