Majority of voting stations open on time

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pretoria – About 89% of all voting stations had opened their doors for voting as of 7am across the country, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya said on Wednesday.

Moepya also thanked residents in areas that were considered to be election hotspots, saying voting proceeded smoothly in those areas when voting stations opened.

Updating the media on the progress of the elections, Moepya said South Africa’s fifth national and provincial elections went “smoothly, peacefully and briskly” overall.

“Shortly after the scheduled 7am start of voting, 89% of the 22 263 voting stations had reported opening on schedule.

“This had increased to over 95% by 9am as election staff reported in on the system following the opening rush,” he said.

He said voting stations that experienced opening delays had been in the process of opening by 11am, and added that the delays were due to, amongst other reasons, the late arrival of staff and escorting security personnel, unlocking of doors and late delivery of voting material.

Moepya also said strong winds in George and Atlantis in the Western Cape and Uptington in the Northern Cape had damaged tents used as temporary voting stations.

“The Electoral Commission is pleased to report significantly fewer incidents of community protest action affecting the voting process early today – with voting proceeding calmly although quietly in many previously affected areas.

“We would like to thank those communities for working with us to allow voting to proceed.

“This includes Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape, Bekkersdal in Gauteng and Malamulele in Limpopo,” he said.

He said, however, that isolated protest action affected the opening of voting stations in Maruleng in Limpopo, Gugulethu in Springs, Botshabelo in the Free State, eNgcobo in the Eastern Cape and Barcelona in Khayalitsha in the Western Cape.

“We also received a report of an accident involving an IEC area manager near Gariep in the Free State. The manager was not severely injured and we wish him a speedy recovery.

“We have also had a report of an accident near Barkley West in the Northern Cape in which a party agent died and another was critically injured in an accident on their way to a voting station. We would like to express our condolences to their families,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

 

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