Fairly good weather expected for elections

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pretoria - Weather conditions in most parts of the country will be fairly good on Wednesday when millions of South Africans are expected to vote in the fourth democratic elections in the country.

South Africans go to the polls on 22 April for the fourth general elections since the advent of the country's democracy in 1994.

According to a forecaster at the South African Weather Services, Ewert Scholtz, there are no adverse weather threats in most parts of the country, except in KwaZulu-Natal, where an 80 percent chance of rain is expected, and rain also forecast for the Eastern Cape.

"Generally, throughout the country, weather conditions would be partly cloudy with some thunder showers accompanied by light winds," Mr Scholtz told BuaNews on Monday.

Gauteng will be partly cloudy and cold with some light winds in some parts of the province, while Mpumalanga will be partly cloudy with some fog in mountainous areas.

The North West, Mr Scholtz said, would be partly cloud with some cool winds followed by the Free State with partly cloudy and some isolated thunder showers expected.

In the Northern Cape, the weather condition is expected to be partly cloudy with some scattered thunder showers while in the Western Cape light showers are expected throughout the province.

According to the South African Weather Services, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal will experience rainy conditions in most parts.

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Electoral Officer Mawethu Mosery told BuaNews that they were currently working on alternative plans to ensure smooth voting on Wednesday.

"We are aware of the weather situation on Wednesday and people should not panic, we are confident that we will be able to come up with a contingency plan," Mr Mosery said.

He said if the weather did not allow the use of helicopters to distribute ballot papers to rural areas, they would use the roads.

Although this poses a challenge, he assured voters that the IEC would do whatever it took to get the ballot papers to voting stations on time.

"The IEC would ensure that every station got their ballot papers by Wednesday morning, even if it meant working through the night.

"We will work 24 hours through the night to make it there on time... It will be there by 6.30am before voting stations open at 7am," said Mr Mosery.

The Independent Electoral Commission in the Eastern Cape said plans were in place to ensure a smooth poll, despite the predicted rain.