Smooth start for Pretoria voting stations

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Most voting stations in Pretoria opened on time this morning as voting got off to a smooth start. 

In Pretoria North at the Wonderpark voting station, people started queuing as early as 4am.

In other voting stations, in the nearby Soshanguve township, the biggest township in Pretoria, voting stations also opened on time at 7am.

Presiding Officer at the Wonderpark voting station, Naledi Modibane, told SAnews that no hiccups or threats were experienced at the station.

“When we opened the station, already there were people queuing outside ready to cast their votes. People came as early as 4am,” Modibane said.

According to Modibane, all is in order at the station with voting materials delivered on time.

Voter Siwela Manzini told SAnews that she hopes her vote will count in making a difference in ensuring a better South Africa. “My vote will contribute in building a better South Africa for all,” she said. Manzini encouraged all eligible voters to go out in their numbers to exercise their right to vote.

Echoing the same sentiments was Leroy Mondy, who said people should participate in building the country. “For us to get better services, we must participate in the elections. This is the only chance we have as citizens to build our country,” he said.  

Forty eight political parties are contesting the national elections, with 26 727 921 people expected to cast their votes.

At the Soshanguve Changing Spot voting station, Presiding OfficerJoyce Msimanga told SAnews that when the station opened at 7am people were already in the queue ready to vote.

“We haven’t experienced any hiccups or threats. Voting is proceeding smoothly and the community is cooperating with us,” Msimanga said.

In Mabopane, the local communities can be seen in long queues determined to cast their votes.

According to the locals, the stations opened on time with no hindrances.

“We are here to vote because we want better services in our communities,” said Ephraim Msiza, a local resident in Mabopane.

At the Tshwane West District, a voting station in the North West, not far from Soshanguve, Mabopane and Garankuwa, Presiding Officer Ronny Kekana told SAnews that the station opened on time and that people started trickling in just after 8am.

“We are expecting more people during the day,” he said.

According to Kekana, a small number of people were already in the queue by 5:30am.

In all the voting stations, police were ready to deal with any eventuality.

With over 2 760 voting stations in Gauteng, measures have been put in place by the Provjoints in anticipation of possible security breaches that were prevalent in previous elections such as: intimidation of voters and electoral officers, obstruction of voting and the voting process, public violence and malicious damage to property, theft and common robberies at or near voting stations.

The Department of Home Affairs has extended its operational hours at all its offices which opened from 8am to 7pm on Tuesday and from 7am to 9pm today.

The offices can help when applying for Temporary Identity Certificates, which are available on the same day – in time for one to make his or her mark.

Temporary Identity Certificates are available at a cost of R70 at any of the Home Affairs offices. Two passport size photos and your ID number must accompany the application.

Voters can call Home Affairs on 0800 6011 90 toll free for more information. –