The Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) Chief Electoral Commissioner Sy Mamabolo says the special voting process has gotten off to a steady start despite some polling stations experiencing challenges.
On Saturday, the IEC began with its special voting process across the country.
This is the first time citizens go to the polls for the Local Government Election under a lockdown.
According to the IEC, about 1 110 194 applications for special votes were approved for elections, including 507 354 home visits and 602 780 votes to be cast at voting stations.
Special votes are underway in Gqeberha. In one of the voting stations in Summerstrand people have come out to cast their vote. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/MuKY7QxZGc
— Lerato Fekisi (@LThipa) October 30, 2021
Mamabolo has assured voters that all voting stations will be opened despite reports that some community members disrupted elections after they embarked on a protest.
“We have a report of an incident where the commission was unable to open eight voting stations. This was in Camperdown, KwaZulu-Natal where community members are unhappy with matters relating to traditional leadership,” adds Mamabolo.
The IEC says it is working with law enforcement agencies to prevent angry community members from shutting down voting stations, and to ensure that voting takes place under safe and peaceful environment.
He has assured voters that the commission will prioritise voters safety and that all COVID-19 protocols will be observed.
Voters have been urged to bring their own pens and hand sanitisers if they wish to do so. However, hand sanitisers will be provided at all voting stations.
The video below is the IEC’s full media briefing:
Special votes in the Northern Cape got well underway with residents expressing different views. Senior citizens in Galeshewe in Kimberley say they are hopeful voting will bring about change in their lives, while some say they see no use in casting their ballots.
Home visit special voting in Folweni, and update from voting station in Springbok: