Durban Central councillors are reminding residents who are not first time voters to check if their information is well updated. Even though the applications to apply for a special vote closed last week Thursday, residents are still encouraged to check online if their details are corresponding to avoid disappointments on the day.

The Springfield Gazette spoke with Ward 25 Councillor Hassan Haniff , Ward 26 Councillor Nicole Graham, Ward 31 Councillor Christopher Pappas and Ward 32 Councillor Mpumelelo Zuma on the importance of voting and also to help residents find their voting stations.

Ward 25 Councillor Hassan Haniff said that people must not choose to not vote,and there after complain about lack of service delivery.

“Be part of change and vote. We are stronger together than apart. People must not sit and complain if they are not voting.
Haniff also advised residents to have enough information before voting, which includes asking relevant questions to those party leaders they are supporting.

Ward 26 Councillor Nicole Graham said that as this is a National and Provincial election, residents are reminded that they can vote at any voting station, even if they are registered elsewhere.
Graham also advised residents to do their own research on parties to vote for before voting.

“I advise voters to do their own research and ensure that they know exactly what they’re voting for. The leaders and policies of a party are very important, and to vote on empty slogans or history won’t get us anywhere. Some political parties want to divide people on this basis of race, which is very dangerous and unhelpful. We have to work together as South Africans, respect one another and build a better tomorrow,” she said. Councillor Pappas said that voting is how we hold politicians to account.

“It is the way we say, “yes, you have done a good job” or “no, you have done a bad job.” Elections ensure that our public representatives are always working for the people against an agenda set by the people,” he said. In case there is a confusion on a difference between Provincial and National elections, Pappas said,” In South Africa we vote in two different elections. Local government elections are where we elect our councillors who run the city. In General Elections we vote for national government and provincial government. This is for members of parliament and members of the provincial parliament.”

According to Pappas, voters are often bombarded by news, gossip and scandals.

“The real thing we should be looking at is the track record of the different parties contesting. If they have a good record then vote for them. If they have a bad record do not vote for them. If they are too small to make a difference or are brand new to the election then carefully consider if they are really strong enough to change all the things that are wrong in the country.

This is not an election about your uncut verges or uncollected refuse. It is about the people who run the police, growing the economy to create jobs and securing our borders. We are voting for the national issues and not the local ones,” he advised. Residents are reminded that they can only vote if registered. “You will need your green barcoded ID, your smart ID or an original temporary ID from Home Affairs. You can also check online if you are registered to vote, by entering your ID number on the IEC website,” said Pappas.

Ward 32 Councillor Mpumelelo Zuma commented, “It is important to vote since it’s their constitutional right and to voice how they feel will bring change in their lives. Everyone who is registered to vote need to voice out by putting an X next to the political party of their choice, and demand service delivery to the respective leaders of their communities.”

Facts about elections
The National and Provincial elections will take place on Wednesday, 8 May for all South Africans. Every registered citizen will then be able to choose representatives to the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures. Although they are different elections, they all take place on the same day. Preparing for elections 26.76 million South African citizens are registered to vote in the elections, this is an increase of 47 percent from 1999, according to the independent electoral commission.

First-time voters had opportunity to register as voters on the weekend of 26 and 27 January, when existing voters could also update their information if they had moved. When voting, you will receive two ballot papers; one for National Assembly and one for Provincial Legislature.
The parties will be identified on the ballot papers by full party name, leader’s photograph, abbreviation and party logo.

After voting, an election official will ink your left thumb nail as a sign that you have voted.
Voting Wards:
Ward 25 voting stations are eThekwini College Centec and Springfield Campus , Springfield Hindu School, SRS Primary School, Collegegevale Primary School. Nagari Pracharni Sabha Hall, Sydenham Primary School, Clareville Primary School, and SM Jhavary Primary School.
Ward 26 voting stations are Addington Hospital, and School, 75 Winder (Dr Langalibalele Dube) Street, the temporary voting station at Victoria Park and George Campbell School.

Ward 31 voting stations are Spearman Primary, Springfield Modal Primary, Sparks Estate Secondary, Hartley Primary, Clayton Primary, Ridge Park Secondary, Berea Primary, and Norwegian Hall.
Ward 32 voting stations are Durban Music School, YMCA, eThekwini College next to Dalton Hostel, and Clairwood High in Clairwood.