Voting delayed in parts of Johannesburg

Voting was delayed at the Craighall Primary School voting station
Reading Time: 3 minutes

While voting got off to a smooth, punctual start in most parts of Gauteng, some voters were left frustrated by delays on the side of the Electoral Commission (IEC) in Johannesburg.

At Tholimfundo Primary School in Protea Glen, Soweto, South of Johannesburg, voters were left frustrated after the voters’ roll was delivered late.

One voter says he arrived at the voting station at five o’clock this morning only to find that there was a delay: “It’s a mess. The elderly were supposed to vote first. But it’s after 8 and nothing has started yet. We woke up early, around 4am, to be here on time so that we can run other errands. But we are still waiting for the IEC.”

Voters at Parktown Girls High School also found themselves waiting in the queue because ballot boxes arrived late. Some of them say they have been waiting for more than an hour.

“We got here at 6:45, and nothing has happened yet. No people have been through the system yet; there is some delay due to boxes missing, etc. It is now 7:50, and nothing has happened. It is frustrating as people need to get to work, and they came in early, but here they are waiting. Who knows? Well, they haven’t opened yet, and we were here since 7:15. But I am very lucky; I am over 60, so I can be in the short queue.”

Ballot papers arrived more than one hour late at the Fontainebleau Community Church in Randburg. Hundreds of voters who queued from as early as six o’clock this morning had to wait for more than two hours in the cold before the ballot papers were delivered at eight o’clock.

An elderly voter was left unimpressed.

“Fuming, feeling mad as I have a very bad leg, and I’m 84 years old, and we’re still sitting outside. I don’t think that’s the right way to handle us. I’m very unimpressed. I’ll wait till I vote. I was here at about six, it’s cold, and we’re waiting. So, yeah, it’s frustrating. That excitement is all gone, but I’ll wait because, you know, I have to do the right thing. It hasn’t opened yet. It’s frustrating, it makes you wonder how free and fair the elections are when there’s no indication of when the ballot papers are actually going to arrive.”

Voting only started at around nine o’clock at Craighall Primary School, as ballot papers arrived more than one hour late. This left hundreds of voters frustrated, as many of them arrived as early as five o’clock to secure their spots in the queue. Voters say this is an inconvenience.

“I mean it is very frustrating, you had from 2019 to get this all together and you would think it would be all together but it isn’t; I think we have been waiting here since 5:30 and just now only they arrive, we have been getting constant feedback but nothing” says one.

“Well I have been waiting here since about 5:45 and the ballot papers have just arrived and as you can hear everyone is celebrating so hopefully there is enough pens and papers for everyone to sign with,” adds another voter.