Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Spokesperson Kate Bapela says strict COVID-19 precautions will be observed on Wednesday as municipal by-elections are held countrywide.

It’s been referred to as “Super Wednesday” – with 95 municipal by-elections now under way in 56 municipalities across South Africa.

The IEC says they are confident if all goes well, results will be released by midday on Thursday.

Bapela has urged voters to carry their own pens and to maintain social distancing.

She says people will be sent home if they arrive at polling stations without a mask.

“That’s why we are saying to all the voters, besides bringing their green barcoded ID document or smart ID card, they must also wear their mask to the voting station. Anyone who approaches our voting stations without a mask will not be allowed to get in. Also they must ensure they vote where they are registered and also they must bring their own pen, but there will be pens available at all the voting stations, but it preferable that voters bring their own pens,” says Bapela.

Delays in the Northern Cape

There is an over an hour delay at the Philipstown voting station in De Aar in the Northern Cape.

Some party agents are complaining about the discrepancies with regard to ballot papers from Tuesday’s special votes.

It is alleged that party agents from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are complaining there were ballot papers in the ballot box already when the first vote was cast.

Some of the voters who have been queuing outside the station before 07:00 in the morning have expressed their frustrations.

“It’s really not fair on us, we’ve been here an hour ago,” says one voter.

Another voter says: “I must go and open my shop what’s wrong with this government?”

-Additional reporting by Reginald Witbooi