Cape Jewish Community hosts a voter education event for all SAJBD (Cape Council) engages with the IEC and My Vote Counts in preparation for the 2019 election

Cape Town, 23 November 2018: The SAJBD (Cape Council) hosted an evening of critical discussion with Dr Nomsa Masuku, Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and Janine Ogle of National Co-ordinator of the non-profit organisation, My Vote Counts (MVC). This community meeting was to emphasize citizen awareness and active participation in the democratic voting process in South Africa.

Attended by the wider community and members of civic organisations, Dr Masuku gave the audience an in depth understanding into the complex workings of the IEC. She explained the processes leading up to and post-election time, the various voter readiness programmes and complex registration processes.

Dr. Masuku shared startling statistics showing thatthe least represented segment of registered voters is the 18-19 year old demographic. Only 270,356 young voters registered to to vote countrywide, when in fact there are 1,729,923 eligible voters in this population group. She noted with concern, “It is this younger generation who have the most difficulties with election results. So it is imperative for us to target them through our communications efforts.” 

The MVC’s, Janine Ogle echoed Dr. Masuku’s sentiments on the importance of free and fair elections in a democracy. Her organisation’s work is to ensure that the political and electoral systems are open, fair and for government to be accountable to the public. Their current focus, is to pressurise the President to enact the Political Party Funding Bill, by signing it before the 2019 elections. This legislation will curb the instances of corruption on all levels by putting measures in place that not only have political parties disclose their donor information on a regular basis but also regulate it by having the IEC monitor and oversee this process. 

She appealed to the audience to sign the MVC’s petition, and explains “ We are effectively telling the President to not have the Bill collect coffee stains on his desk. We need him to grant us our Constitutional right to information and to cast an informed vote ahead of the elections in 2019.

Committed to voter education, the IEC has a unit of 1600 voter educators that can be deployed to any community event to educate citizens. The message was clear, that citizens need to actively prepare and participate in the elections, and with the Western Cape sitting with only 3,039,327 registered voters, we need to mobilise our immediate communities, especially the youth to to take advantage of these informative iniaitives, if we want our voices to be heard.

Provincial breakdown of registered voters as at 31 August 2018

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NOTE: 1The VAP figures were supplied by StatsSA

About the SAJBD (Cape): Started in 1915, it is the umbrella organisation for the Cape Jewish Community that, i) safeguard the religious and civil rights and the status and welfare of the Jewish community in the Republic of South Africa (ii) Acts on behalf of the Jewish community in the Republic in all matters affecting its relationship with the Government and with provincial, local and other authorities, whether statutory or non-governmental; (iii) Promotes harmonious relations between the Jewish community and all sections of the population in the Republic; (iv) Promotes the creative content and enhance the quality of Jewish life in the Republic;  (v) Takes any lawful action it may deem necessary in all matters affecting the Jewish community; (vi) Maintains fraternal relations with Jewish communities and institutions in other lands; (vii) Collects and applies funds for carrying out its objects (viii) Furthers respect for and the application of fundamental human rights for all sections of the population of the Republic. www.capesajbd.org

Released by:

Liza-Jane Saban : Head of Communications (SAJBD Cape Council)

+2783 565 1906      I liza-jane@ctjc.co.za