Science and Technology Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has expressed concern over the delays she experienced while trying to cast a special vote in Soweto, Gauteng.

Kubayi-Ngubane says she was initially told that walk-ins were not allowed.

“I had anticipated to come and vote earlier and I was told no we are not doing that here. The people who are based and working here they told me to wait because they are still sorting it out. Obviously we had to call IEC to intervene.”

She eventually managed to vote. However, she says some people who had applied for special votes were turned away because their names did not appear on the voters’ roll.

The minister has appealed to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to sort out the glitches.

KZN voting delays

Meanwhile, the IEC has confirmed that some voting stations opened late in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal due to service delivery protests.

More than 100 000 registered voters applied to cast special votes in the province.

Operations officer for the IEC in KwaZulu-Natal, Ntombifuthi Masinga, says despite earlier delays, voting has been proceeding smoothly.

“Mostly affected areas were municipalities in iLembe District, Mandeni, Indwedwe and Maphumulo. In the South Coast, we had Ubuhlebezwe, which is in Ixopo and then we had some in areas within the Ethekwini Municipality. Fortunately we had geared up for this kind of eventuality in the province, because we have been receiving threats in various parts of the province where people were intending to use the elections to voice out their grievances against failure or lack of service delivery in some of the municipalities,”  adds Masinga.

Voting stations unable to open in Mpumalanga

Two voting stations in Zoeknog in Arcornhoek, Mpumalanga, have not been able to open on Monday for the special votes. Residents dug trenches on the road preventing IEC officials access route to open the stations.

The residents are demanding service delivery such as water and proper roads from government.

IEC Municipal Electoral Officer in the Bushbuckridge Municipality, Henry Mhlaba says they are concerned that operations from this two voting stations have been halted, making it difficult for voters to cast their votes.

Mhlaba says a meeting is underway to find a solution to have the station opened. “There is no access. The road is total closed. The way it is it needs a machinery to redone the road to have an access to those voting stations.”

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