27 June 2018 - NW2002
Rabotapi, Mr MW to ask the Minister of Home Affairs
Whether the Independent Electoral Commission has sufficient funding for two national registration weekends in its 2018-19 budget; if not, (a) what amount has been allocated to the commission for the national registration weekends and (b) what is the shortfall; (2) what (a) was the total cost of conducting each national registration weekend in the past five financial years and (b) is the budgeted cost for the remaining registration weekend(s) for the 2019 national elections?
1. No, the Electoral Commission does not have sufficient funding for two national registration weekends.
(a) During the 2017 MTEF National Treasury allocated R630 million in 2018-19 for two main registration weekends and some NPE 2019 election related activities. Of this amount, approximately R581 million related to the two main registration weekends and the remaining R49 million related to preparatory work for the 2019 NPE such as the procurement of components of the bill of materials.
(b) Due to inter-alia the lack of funding by National Treasury in relation to initiatives taken by the Electoral Commission with regards to the rectification of voters’ addresses on the national voters’ roll stemming from the Constitutional Court ruling, the cyclical ICT hardware and platform refresh and the partial funding of the new voter registration devices, the overall shortfall in the 2018-19 financial year is R346 million. This budget shortfall necessitated that funds amounting to R211 million which was earmarked for the registration weekends, be reprioritised to address these critical unfunded projects. The remainder of the shortfall (R135 million) was funded by delaying and reprioritising certain projects.
It should be noted that the R211 million that was originally allocated for a second registration weekend does not include the imperative to have an average of three electoral staff members per voting station. At the time of the 2017 MTEF it was envisaged that there would only be two staff members per voting station.
2. (a) The actual cost of the registration drives held over the past five financial years are as follows:
- November 2013: R280.5 million
- February 2014: R209.9 million
- March 2016: R314.7 million
- April 2016: R192.5 million
- March 2018: R219.6 million
(b) The budgeted cost for the planned February 2019 registration drive for the 2019 NPE is R419 million. This includes an additional staff member per voting station (R32 million), necessitated by the need to harvest addresses, and an additional training day (R17 million) on the new voter registration devices.