November 1 has officially been declared a public holiday. This means any staff working on that day will get double pay and must still be allowed to go off to the voting stations where they are registered to exercise their constitutional right to vote. This will be an extremely expensive day for employers.

Another issue that arises is that people are only able to cast their votes at the polling station in wards where they are registered. My experience has been that when a public holiday is given before or after a weekend, many use that opportunity to get away to have a holiday. This means those individuals will probably not be able to cast their votes, making the stayaway factor even greater.

People are reminded that to have an effective opposition every vote counts, and to vote for independents or small parties can be as destructive as not voting at all. 

Michael Bagraim, MP
Via e-mail

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