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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Ground Work Collective observers ready for overseas voting mission this weekend

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By Hope Ntanzi

In the last general elections in 2019, former DA MPL Mbali Ntuli was among the group of politicians who clinched a seat in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature. But five years later, she is now apolitical and will be working as an elections observer with her organisation, Ground Work Collective.

This comes after Ntuli resigned from party political politics when she resigned as a member of the KZN Legislature and left the Democratic Alliance in March 2022, after she had unsuccessfully ran to become the leader of the party. She was defeated at an elective conference by the incumbent leader John Steenhuisen, in November 2020.

Since leaving party politics, Ntuli, who is also the chief executive of GWC, has been doing work in the voter education space.

Ntuli announced on Thursday that her organisation was all systems go to participate and help out in the overseas voting process with their independent election observers for the voting that is expected to take place between Friday and Monday.

Over 78,000 South Africans abroad are expected to cast their votes this weekend for the 2024 national elections.

Ntuli said their mission observers would be observing elections in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Switzerland.

According to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) nine countries will vote on Friday, while the remaining countries will hold their elections on Saturday. Over and above that, the United Kingdom, which has the biggest voting station including South Africa, will also be voting on Monday.

Said Ntuli: “GWC is conducting election observation as part of its X_Change campaign and has seen thousands of South Africans volunteer to help protect their democracy, both at home and abroad.’’

Ntuli said GWC had provided training for all abroad observers and the organisation was looking forward to monitoring and getting up-to-date information on the unfolding of this historic election globally.

‘’With over 78,092 voters set to exercise their votes abroad, this is going to be an incredible milestone in our democracy, demonstrating that even across the shores, South Africans remain deeply invested in the future of their home,“ she said.

Ntuli said their election observers had been trained thoroughly, and their organisation had developed technology which would be able to provide real-time election reporting “including the ability to voice record, take pictures and take notes of any disparities or irregularities during the voting processes”.

“The technology also allows for a post-election consolidated overview which will be used for a national report of the elections,” said Ntuli.

Elections

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