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Wednesday, 22 May 2024 21:25

IEC launches the national results operation centre in Midrand.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has officially launched the National Results Operations Centre in Midrand, Gauteng ahead of the 2024 national and provincial elections.

The facility will serve as the hub from where all electoral activities will be co-ordinated.

It will also serve as a central hub for political parties, independent candidates, observers, the media and other stakeholders to access real-time election results.

The IEC chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, said the ROC was a theatre of electoral transparency, dreams and political aspirations.

"Housed at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, this ROC will serve as the beating heart of our electoral processes," he said. "This ROC is the foundation on which transparency rests."

Mamabolo said the results of each voting station, once audited, will be instantly available to political parties and the media through an application programming interface.

He added that an important milestone was reached on Friday when the first votes in the elections were cast at 110 diplomatic missions.

Although the IEC doesn't have a definitive account of voter turnout, preliminary indications show that voters living abroad have surpassed previous performance.

The patience displayed also served to indicate their commitment to vote. This is the spirit we need to take into the elections next week. We need to be patient and create a joyous atmosphere at the voting stations, for elections are also about celebrating our common nationhood," the chief electoral officer said.

The Midrand venue was commissioned as the venue after the Tshwane Events Centre went into ruins.

All election votes would be counted at the voting stations and the presiding officers along with party agents would issue a voter results slip which would be communicated to the ROC through an electronic system.

IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya said the ROC had a very rich and profound history in the South African election landscape.

"The national ROC stands not only as a physical space but as an estimate of our unwavering commitment to the transparency and integrity of our electoral process," he said.

Moepya added that transparency lies at the heart of the IEC's mission, and the capture and verification of the results exemplify their commitment to integrity.

Meanwhile IEC Commissioner Judge Dhaya Pillay said that since the announcement of the election date, the IEC has dealt with about 17 court cases, with 14 cases ruled in the IEC's favour and three cases still outstanding.

"As we emerge from this experience of heightened litigation, we go forward reflecting on how two streams of decision-making – one through the courts and the other through the ballot – come together to make democracy work," Pillay said.