1972 Voters Roll ('Rhino') Project

The previous voters roll project, namely transcribing the 1984 Voters Roll, took years of toil by many volunteers to provide, in a manual process, more than three million names available to data-hungry genealogists. It was nicknamed the Elephant Project - because the saying goes ‘you eat an elephant one bite at a time’!  When the GSSA moved to the next project, it was decided to name it after another animal - not quite as large, but even tougher. The Rhino Project is our attempt at saving one of our genealogical rhino’s, the 1972 Voters Roll.
The original paper copy of the 1972 Voters Roll consists of 300 A3-sized books, each containing about 350 pages of 20 voters each.  This amounts to 7,000 names per book and approximately 2.1 million names in total on the voters roll.  Every record contains the identity number, name and surname, date of birth, occupation and address of the individual voter, in addition to the voting related information (e.g. registration date, voting district and regional office).
Phase 1 focused on photographing all the pages. Thanks to GSSA branches supporting the project and a sponsorship, six students managed to capture 105,000 photographs at the National Archives in Pretoria, over a period of four months. These photographs were converted to PDF together with a surname index, listing all surnames on the voters roll and indicating the book relevant to a specific surname. The PDFs are conveniently searchable with the standard "find" function.
At this stage GSSA can offer you selective surnames in PDF format or you can sponsor a book.
Phase 2 entails the PDFs being submitted to an OCR (Optical Character Reader) process and converted to a searchable spreadsheet type format. The intention is to outsource this process to a professional company with expertise in this domain and a pilot project is in progress with the financial support of a sponsor. This will take some time since progress depends on the success of the pilot and more funding to complete the full set.
1972 Voters Roll (The Rhino Project) Information
There are currently two options available to obtain information, in PDF format, from the 1972 Voters Roll:
OPTION 1: Individual surnames available in PDF format
Administration fee: R50 per surname; this includes the first 10 pages.  Thereafter, R1 per page if your chosen surname includes more than 10 pages.  The images will be sent to you via Dropbox.
Download the order form for selective surnames
OPTION 2: Sponsor a whole book
We have created an index of the 300 books as well as the order form that can be downloaded here as 1972 Voters Roll Index and Order Form. The sponsor will select the book with his/her choice of surnames from the index, pay R350 to GSSA Northern Transvaal Branch and then send proof of payment to Annemarie Dreyer. Her details as well as the banking details are listed on the Index & Order form. The books will be sent by Annemarie in zipped PDF format via Dropbox.
Download the order form for a book
For more information or to place orders, contact Annemarie Dreyer, via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
After completion of the digitisation (OCR of each page), the final product will be placed on the GSSA Webshop together with the 1984 Voters Roll and other products.
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