Government satisfied with voting day

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pretoria- Government is satisfied with the running of South Africa's fourth democratic local government elections.

"Government expresses great satisfaction with the collective efforts of departments in ensuring the success registered thus far in rolling out the fourth democratic local government elections under the auspices and leadership of the Independent Electoral Commission," said Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi.

This as about 23 million South Africans headed to voting stations across the country to cast their vote in the fourth democratic municipal elections on Wednesday.

Government congratulated security agencies as well as those in the security community who have been on high alert for their tireless work to ensuring the safety of voters.

"Of particular note is the prompt response by security officials in isolated places where individuals or small groups sought to be disruptive. Government reiterates that local government elections are the place for people to express their views and the institutions of the municipalities currently being put in place are legitimate ones through which grievances may be channelled."

Government also noted a statement by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs deputy minister Yunus Carrim that through the Local Government Turnaround Strategy and efforts to improve the legislative and financial framework of municipalities, a very robust local government sphere constantly improving will characterise the post-election period.

The public confidence seen in the massive voter turnout will be rewarded, added Manyi.

Earlier on voting day-which was deemed a public holiday-the Department of Home Affairs had put in place efforts to ensure that their officers were on alert in order to enable people the opportunity to access Temporary Identity Documents (TICs).

By mid-morning 2 919 IDs were collected nationwide while 436 TICs were issued nationwide. There were 16 TICs extended nationwide and 294 applications received nationwide.

Pre-election discontent had been experienced in areas such as Balfour in Mpumalanga and Maqhaka in the Free State "voters expressed their democratic right to vote and made their cross on the ballot papers."

The South African Weather Service has constantly been on hand to ensure that accurate weather forecasts were provided contributing to the preparedness in ensuring the success of the 2011 local government elections.

Four minor medical emergencies were addressed as at 4pm with the Department of Health being on high alert throughout the day and medical emergencies lodged from polling stations with the national 10177 emergency call centre or various coordination structures received priority attention.

Government also congratulated power parastatal Eskom on ensuring constant power supply during the voting processes. It said the two minor outages experienced this morning were a result of problems in the specific municipalities. They were addressed.

Voting stations closed their doors at 7pm after which counting of the votes began.

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