Political parties contesting in the Mamusa Local Municipality by-elections say they are happy that the elections have been peaceful and fair. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says all 26 voting stations opened at 7am.

More than 28 000 people who have been registered cast their votes. The by-election comes after the Mamusa Municipal council was dissolved by the provincial government in October last year, following poor service delivery and financial mismanagement.

Eight political parties and one independent candidate are battling it out. They all want to take over the troubled Mamusa Local Municipality.

Contesting political parties are happy that peace has been the order of the day.

“Firstly, let’s appreciate the work done by the IEC. All the stations opened on time but at the level of the ANC I think we have done our best. We have put in place our machinery, all the information tables. So, where we are sitting we are very happy as the ANC,” says the party’s Hlomane Chauke.

The Economic Freedom Fighters’ Marshall Dlamini shares the sentiment.

“The stations, they opened on time today. We are happy with the process so far, and we must applaud other political parties. There’s maximum restraint, maximum discipline. We have not had any issues of conflict between political parties, and we’re requesting that should be the order of the day. Until the results are announced, let’s allow the voters to vote for the party of their choice, so far, so good.”

The Freedom Front Plus says unlike other by-elections, these ones stand out.

“Certain polling stations have been busy but all around it’s been a peaceful turnout, no incident and we are happy with that,” says FFPlus’ national head of elections Wouter Wessels.

The Democratic Alliance’s Joe McGluwa says they will always support the people of Mamusa, regardless of what the outcome will be.

“Whatever the outcome, we say we will still remain resolute and we will still support the people of Mamusa.”

The IEC says no worrying incidents have been reported.

“We hope that counting will be done at all stations at two o’clock or three o’clock in the morning. The results will take longer, given that this is the entire municipality taking part in this particular by-election. But, we know that our people are prepared for this. The conduct of political parties, significantly appreciated,” says provincial elections head Dr Tumelontle Thiba.

Locals, who cast their vote, hope their X will bring them improved service delivery. “I’m so happy today. I voted for the party that will bring change to the lives of people. I was happy with the disbandment of our council,” says one of the people who cast their votes.

The IEC says gates at voting stations will be closed at nine in the evening. Results are expected to be announced by Friday.