Polling stations close; IEC reports 93% on-time opening

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Polling stations in South Africa’s seventh democratic elections have closed. The Electoral Commission (IEC) says 93% of their over 23 000 stations opened on time at 7 o’clock Wednesday morning.

There have been reports of technical glitches and other delays at some stations around the country.

IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo says they saw very long queues in the metros in Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, Eastern and Western Cape. He says voters who will be in queues at this hour won’t be turned away.


Long queues

A few minutes before closing time, voters in and around Mbombela, Mpumalanga, are still arriving in large numbers at various polling stations. These voters are standing in long queues as they wait to cast their votes.

Some of the voters say: “I came in the morning, it was packed, returned home and came back again now. The situation is still the same, I thought it would be better by now,” says one voter.

Another one adds, “I usually vote at night, to my surprise the voting station is still packed even now. I thought I would get here and vote as in the previous elections.”


The queue of voters at the polling station at the Durban City Hall is winding around the block in the central business district. This is among several voting stations where people have been waiting for hours to cast their votes.

Sbunkosi Mazibuko says he has been waiting to vote in this line for five hours with no communication from the IEC to the delays.

“We arrived here at half past three, we have to wait we have to wait to vote but now the queues are moving slowly and there’s no communication from the IEC side that what is the problem inside there in the voting station. I want change for South Africa in its entirety. Now we are sitting down with no jobs and like service delivery is moving very slowly. So we need a government that’s going to serve our people.”

Freddy Mabasa is also in the long queue at the Durban City Hall. He has been waiting for three hours and says he will wait as long as it takes.

“I do believe that my vote will contribute towards the bigger picture. Hopefully, it will lead to change whichever way it goes.”

Police in KZN say they are on high alert as some voting stations are still experiencing long queues. Police spokesperson Robert Netshiunda says voting stations that are experiencing long queues have been provided with additional law enforcement officers to beef up security.

Cape Town

There are still long queues at some polling stations in Site B, Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats as scores of people are waiting to cast their votes.

Chilly weather has not deterred the residents from making their mark. There are long queues in several areas across the Cape Metro.