The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has sent reinforcements to Gauteng to assist the province with capturing the counted votes in order to expedite the finalisation of the local government elections results.
Despite declaring on Tuesday morning that 90% of the election results would be finalised by Tuesday evening, the IEC said at a briefing on Wednesday afternoon that it had finalised 79% of the expected results.
But IEC commissioner Granville Abrahams rejected contentions that the institution was late in delivering the results, saying that the commission was still within the seven-day period stipulated for finalisation in the Municipal Electoral Act.
Abrahams outlined a complex election verification process, which he said included independent auditors at all capturing sites to verify the results.
He added that 96.9% of the result slips had been captured with the remaining 3.1% needing to be captured in sites in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Gauteng.
“We have, however, expedited [the Gauteng process] by providing additional capacity as far as the capturing phase is concerned. So, the capturing phase should be done very soon,” Abrahams said, without providing a timeframe.
He said the finalisation of results was at 79% because the IEC did not want to rush its auditors in their processes.
Abrahams refused to admit that the results were late, despite the IEC having said that the results would be finalised by Wednesday.
“No, we are not late. In terms of [the] legislation, the results must be announced within seven days. In fact, we can also approach the electoral court if we require more time.
“So, we are not late.”