IEC elections results centre in Pretoria. Picture: GCIS
IEC elections results centre in Pretoria. Picture: GCIS

The Constitutional Court has granted the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) until November 2019 to complete addresses on the voters’ roll.

This would now give the commission time until after the 2019 national elections to complete its work with regard to the addresses. These elections will be highly contested as opposition parties hope to push the ANC below 50% of support in provinces such as Gauteng.

The IEC had asked the court in August to extend its deadline to November 29 2019, after it failed to meet its initial June deadline to ensure the voters’ roll was completed by including addresses for all voters.

The June deadline was set after the court found in 2016 that the absence of this information was unconstitutional. The apex court had earlier ordered an interim extension until November 30 2018, while it determined whether a further extension should be granted. This deadline would have expired next week. 

The court's order is, however, subject to conditions, which include that the IEC has to furnish the court with bi-monthly reports as from January 31 2019 to September 30 2019, setting out, among others, the number of post-2003 addresses still outstanding, the steps taken to obtain the addresses and any matter it may consider necessary to report on. 

The IEC will propose in the report how it will indicate on the certified voters’ roll which voters have incomplete, inadequate or no addresses. It will also have to say how voters falling into this group will be required to supply their addresses before voting on election day.  

The IEC was ordered to pay the costs of the DA, the IFP and independent candidates Aaron Mhlope and Johanna Xaba.