Elderly thrilled to cast special votes

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pretoria - Over 70 pensioners at the Sonnheim Retirement Centre could not hide their joy on Monday as they cast their special votes for the country's fourth democratic elections.

As part of the special voting days allocated by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), officials visited the Centre in Pretoria to help more than 70 physically disabled pensioners to cast their votes.

While casting their votes, the ecstatic and enthusiastic pensioners said they were proud to be part of the process.

Speaking to BuaNews, Sonja van Wyk, 61, said she was very excited that she has voted for the party of her choice, adding that she is confident that her vote will bring change in South Africa.

Ms Van Wyk said it was important for every South African to vote so that there will be a change in service delivery which will uplift the lives of the poor.

Another excited voter, Laura Pozza, 79, said she was confident that she will vote and be the part of the change.

She said it was her democratic right to vote for the party of her choice, but more importantly she was looking forward to seeing changes in South Africa.

Sitting on her wheelchair, waiting to vote, Ms Pozza said the incoming administration must look after the poor and mostly the elderly.

The special voting days, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, are mainly for the physically disabled, pregnant women, election officials and security force members who will be on duty on Election Day.

Those who will be temporarily out of the country on Wednesday for either business or pleasure also qualify, but only people who are registered to cast a special vote will be allowed to do so.

Gauteng currently has the largest voting population in the country with 5.5 million registered voters. This means that close to a quarter of the 23.1 million nationally registered voters are to be found in this province.

The Gauteng registration level represents 23.8 percent of all registered voters in the country.