Rain, protest action dampens election spirits in parts of the Cape

(David Harrison/M&G)

(David Harrison/M&G)

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) in the Western Cape says it is kept abreast of sporadic protest action in parts of the province.

Since Tuesday, there have been reports of unrest in some areas of Cape Town.

A commuter was injured when the bus she was travelling on was attacked with a petrol bomb along the R300 near the Siqalo informal settlement in Mitchells Plain.

Police have been monitoring the situation in Siqalo for days now.

On Wednesday morning, a section of the N2 highway was closed at Plettenberg Bay.

In Khayelitsha, tyres have been set alight and rocks thrown at police. But it does not seem to be affecting voting in the area.

The IEC’s Western Cape head Courtney Sampson says police on the ground are in constant contact with them should protesters threaten voters.

“We have a joint operations centre here at the results centre. But we’re monitoring what’s happening on Jakes Gerwel Drive. And we are also getting some more information of what’s happening in Plettenberg Bay,” he said.

Sampson says there’ve been several incidents reported, but there has been no confirmation of whether they are protest-related.

“A number of dwellings on Baden Powell Drive [in Khayelitsha] are alight. We don’t know if it’s protests or an accident. It’s very cold. So people are making fires,” said Sampson.

Wet and cold weather is another concern. A rainy election day could mean a lower voter turnout.

The IEC says it will only have data on how many voters have turned up to vote later in the day.

The South African Weather Service predicts heavy rain in the morning, clearing up later in the day.

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