Some delays at polling stations in Pretoria

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pretoria - A voting station in Lotus Gardens in Pretoria was blown over by strong winds on Tuesday, but the station is now up and operational.

Tshwane Mayor Gwen Ramokgopa, who cast her vote at the Oost Einde Primary School this morning, said she had received reports of a few delays in the city, including a voting station in Lotus Gardens, west of the city, which was blown away by winds on Tuesday.

"It has been sorted out. There was some dissatisfaction here and there but we are monitoring it. The feedback that I have so far is that those matters have been dealt with successfully," Ms Ramokgopa told BuaNews.

She said most of the voting stations had people coming out in droves from early in the morning.

"Overall, there was one or two problems but generally the IEC is ready."

Ms Ramokgopa appealed to residents to cast their votes. "I want to encourage citizens to go out [and vote] now and not wait for 9pm so that we can relax with our families afterwards," said Ms Ramakgopa.

She said she was pleased not only with the IEC's Results Operation Centre being (ROC) stationed in the city but also with the hard work done by the IEC in preparing for this historic event.

She further urged residents to ensure the elections were peaceful, free and fair.

Gauteng province has the largest voting population with 5.5 million registered voters. On Monday, the Gauteng IEC 12.5 million ballot papers have been printed.

Touching on her expectations for the incoming government, the mayor said the country had reached a "cross roads".

"We decisively need to deal with issues of poverty and unemployment," she said, adding that the first 15-years of the democracy were focused on changing policies and stabilising the economy.

"That has been achieved except for the world economic climate," she said.

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