Western Cape off to voting start despite minor glitches

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) in the Western Cape says voting in the province has begun with minor disruption.

This is despite heavy morning rain and sporadic protests in Cape Town and other parts of the province.

Police are monitoring morning protests in Khayelitsha, Siqalo, and Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route.

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

IEC Western Cape Head Courtney Sampson says there have been reports of ID barcode scanners not functioning properly, but that those problems have been fixed.

“There were minor normal glitches, like scanners in the wrong mode. Those are normal problems. But our staff have been able to assist. We apologise to voters who’ve been standing in the rain while we sort these out,” Sampson said

The IEC says the inclement weather is a concern, and that they are in contact with Disaster Management to ensure the integrity of voting stations is maintained.

“People in low lying areas will be most affected by the rain. We are keeping an eye on it. The provincial disaster management team and City Disaster Management have been outstanding in giving us information. The Joint Operations Centre is giving us regular feedback on places where things are not what they ought to be for voters to have access to a voting station,” he said.

Police are reporting to the IEC that some service delivery protests have been quelled. But hotspots in Khayelitsha, Lwandle, and Plettenberg Bay are being monitored.

There have also been reports of an informal settlement fire in Khayelitsha, where several homes have been destroyed.

In Manenberg, voting continues steadily.

The suburb has in recent weeks seen an increase in gangs violence. And more police have been deployed to ensure voters are kept safe.

At Edendale Primary School voting station, presiding officer Faldiela Solomons says the rain, nor gangsters have kept voters away.

“Things have gone fairly good. The rain hasn’t affected voter turn out. By 9:30 this morning we’ve already had a voter turnout of 150 people,” Solomons said. 

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Lester Kiewit
Lester Kiewit
Lester Kiewit is a Reporter, Journalist, and Broadcaster.
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