Identity documents and registration to vote

OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
TITLE AUTHOR(S): J.M.Kivilu, S.Langtry
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 3689
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/6924

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Ten years into democratic government, South Africa has laid the foundations for the design and implementation of policies to ensure democratic consolidation, competitive multi-party engagement, and citizen participation. The framework created for political representation is laid out in the founding provisions of the Constitution (Chapter 1) which sates that South Africa is one sovereign democratic state founded on: o Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms; o Non-racialism and non-sexism; o Supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law; and o Universal adult suffrage, a national voters' roll, regular elections and a multiparty system of democratic government, to ensure accountability, responsiveness and openness. On the basis of these founding provisions, South Africa has run three general national and provincial elections, and two nation-wide local government elections, all of which were declared to be free and fair. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is responsible for organising and managing elections. In order to give legitimacy to elections the Constitution guarantees the institutional independence of the IEC, and restrains other government bodies from interfering with its functions. In addition, no person or organ of state may interfere with the functioning of the IEC. The IEC is also constitutionally accountable to the National Assembly, and must report on its activities and the performance of its functions to the Assembly at least once a year. The IEC is one of six institutions established in terms of Chapter 9 of the Constitution to strengthen our constitutional democracy. The other five institutions are: the Public Protector; the Human Rights Commission; the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities; the Auditor-General; and the Commission for Gender Equality.