Gauteng drags heels in releasing results

Gauteng—the crucial province that will determine the outcome of the national vote—is also the one dragging its feet in releasing results.

At 8am on Thursday morning the stream of results from Gauteng, which has the largest amount of voters, was the slowest of all the provinces.

The slow release of results from Gauteng is due to the shortage of ballot papers at voting stations in Johannesburg, Pretoria and the East Rand, where most of the province’s voters are concentrated.

Gauteng has 23%, or about seven million voters, of the 23-million voters nationwide. Results were delayed when more voters appeared at voting stations than expected, because the electoral law allows for voters to use any station they choose.

The Independent Electoral Commission on Wednesday hastily printed another two million ballots papers to deliver to voting stations. As the polls closed at 9pm on Wednesday, the two million extra ballots—one million for Gauteng and another million for the national ballot—had not been used and were under tight security.

According to head of IEC corporate services Norman du Plessis, Gauteng is expected to feed through its results later than other provinces because it has more urban areas—with more voters—than in other provinces.

‘The results you see now are mostly from rural areas. We will only start seeing [the results from] large towns and cities from this morning [Thursday],” said Du Plessis.

Vote counting has been wrapped up in all provinces and the capturing, auditing and verification of the votes is now taking place.

‘By sunset tonight [Thursday] it would only be a few outstanding places that still need to be reflected, but we should have the bulk of it.”

By 9am on Thursday morning only 18% of the votes cast countrywide had been reflected on the results board at the IEC results centre in Pretoria, while Du Plessis said trends can be identified when 60% of the results are available.

Figures from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research show the African National Congress will narrowly miss the two-thirds majority by receiving between 64% and 65% of the national vote while the Democratic Alliance is due to receive 17,9% and Cope 7%-8%.

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