SA Organisations

Community urged to vote in elections

  • Jeff
We often hear about people’s “right to vote”. What is much less emphasised is the concept of a “duty to vote”, such a duty being incumbent on the citizens of any democratic state. At this particular time in our history, it has arguably never been more important for all South African citizens to stand up and be counted, and have their say in determining the future of our country.
by JEFF KATZ | Apr 06, 2016

Elections, more than anything else, demonstrate that democracy is about government serving and being answerable to the people, and not the other way round.

This weekend is the final registration opportunity for voters to confirm and, if necessary, update their address details with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). We urge those who have not already done so, in particular first-time voters, to contact their local voting stations to ensure that the relevant information on the voters’ roll is accurate and up to date.

Registered voters can do so by SMS-ing their ID numbers to 32810, both to confirm that they are registered and to find out whether additional address details are required of them. They can also contact the IEC Hotline on 0800 11 8000 for assistance daily between 07:00 and 21:00 or go to the IEC website (www 

As was done with the two previous elections, the Board is driving a “Make Us Count” election awareness and information initiative with the aim of involving the Jewish community as much as possible in the upcoming local government elections. In addition to ensuring that as many community members as possible are registered and come out to vote on the day, this initiative also includes arranging for volunteers to assist the IEC by acting as election monitors on polling day.

In 2014, the Board was instrumental in putting together South Africa’s first-ever interfaith and multinational election observer team, an IEC-accredited body whose members - including nearly 100 Jews, Muslims, Christians and foreign nationals - monitored events and assisted election officials at over 250 voting stations in five cities and across three provinces.

Alana Baranov is again heading up this project, and all those interested in participating should please contact her at [email protected].

Those who, for whatever reason, decide not to participate in elections, are failing to do their part in upholding and strengthening one of the most vital institutions of democracy in our country at a time when our participation is needed.

We, the Jewish community, must commit ourselves to playing an active role in participating in and contributing to the success of our democratic institutions and must vote.



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