The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it does not expect any disruptions during voting in the Umzinyathi district, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, on Wednesday.
The commission’s area manager, Mbozeni Ndlovu, says infrastructure in Dundee, Msinga, Nquthu and Umvoti was not damaged during the recent floods that lashed the province recently.
Ndlovu says the IEC is ready to open all voting stations and to conduct home visits to the 6,800 registered special voters. “Yes, in fact, it’s the figure that we will be dealing with starting tomorrow[Monday]. We will see how far can we go but we are ready. We are ready to visit all of them and we are ready to welcome those who will be visiting our voting stations,” says Ndlovu.
IEC officials in Port Shepstone, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, say they are also ready.
Special voting across the country will start at 7 o’clock on Monday.
IEC regional manager in the Ugu District Municipality, Sphiwe Yeni, says officials are confident that everything is in order. He says the IEC is in constant contact with road authorities to ensure that all voting stations are accessible.
“We are ready to begin with we have made significant progress in terms of preparing for tomorrow we have made sure that all our systems are in order as I speak I had concluded a meeting with one of the Department of Transport senior managers to confirm if the road infrastructure is being repaired and will it be ready by tomorrow until Wednesday I can assure you that everything is pointing out to us being successfully able to deliver special voting for our voters tomorrow,” says Yeni.
Yeni says the IEC will make alternative plans for voters who might not be able to reach voting stations due to roads that were damaged by the heavy rains that lashed the province during the Easter period.
“There is quite a number of roads in our district a lot of work has already been done by the municipalities and we are left with completing just a few, which are problematic. There is one in Esperanza, under Umdoni Municipality, there is one in ward five under Umzumbe municipality and there is also one under Ray Nkonyeni. It’s just one of the road here and there, but I must hasten to say that there are alternative routes should there be a need that we do not continue to use those roads currently in their state. We do have alternative routes. We also have alternative plans to ensure that voters that are hindered by the roads are able to cast and to access voting stations without any problems,” says Yeni.
Bonella residents threaten to boycott
Angry residents of Bonella in the eThekwini Municipality are threatening to boycott Wednesday’s polls if local government continues with its plans to evict them.
It is alleged that more than 200 residents have been forcefully evicted from their homes due to unpaid levies.
The municipality and the provincial Human Settlements Department are committed to resolving the issue.
Community activist, Phanuel Zuma says, “We as the community we’ve taken a resolution, we’ve been very kind on this matter. We’ve followed each and every corrective manner in trying to resolve the matter and should we not be taken seriously we will reserve our votes. Our government has to know that we cannot have the elderly citizens troubled. We as the community of Bonella will stand still if we don’t see any action especially from the municipality. They need to come on board.”