The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in the North West says it expects between 14 000 and 17 000 people to cast their votes in much anticipated by-elections in the Lichtenburg based Ditsobotla Local Municipality on Wednesday.
Of the 71 000 registered voters, a little over 8 000 were approved for special voting on Tuesday.
The municipal council was disbanded by the provincial government in September, citing lack of services, maladministration and political infighting.
Six thousand of the over 8 000 people were set to vote at 97 voting stations where applications for special votes were approved.
The other 2 000 were visited in their homes.
Among those who cast special votes, were elderly people living in several old age homes at Coligny.
Others cast their votes at the voting stations. They say all they want is to see developments in their wards.
“I want clean water. I want working together with all the people here. I want a clean town, decent streets again,” a resident says.
“I want to see this town of ours cleaned up. And I want right people in. I hope that the Whites and the Blacks in this town, realise that we need one another, not only for Coligny but for South Africa. My vote has never produced any desired results. On my street, they don’t collect garbage, we do it ourselves. We often spend about two to three days without water,” another resident explains.
The provincial electoral officer in the North West, Dr Tumelontle Thiba says they expect at least 25% of the voters to take part in the by-elections.
“Out of our 100 voting stations, 96 of them have home visits and voting stations visits today. In total, we had 8 453 successful applications. 2 037 of which were home visits,” says Thiba.
Meanwhile, political analyst at the North West University, Professor Andre Duvenhage says he doesn’t expect a good turnout.
“It is a normal pattern that people aren’t participating on local government, the same way they participate on national and provincial levels. Therefore I’m expecting a lower voter outcome. It is the festive season. It is close to the ANC’s national conference,” says Duvenhage.
Twenty ward and 19 proportional representation or PR seats are up for grabs in Ditsobotla.