Today, South Africans took to voting stations around the country asserting their democratic right to vote in the Local Municipal Elections. Residents ventured to nearby schools, churches, and civic centers where the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) stations were housed, with many voters saying that they voted for change.
Addressing media, IEC’s Courtney Sampson explained that while all voting stations were fully operational by 8 am this morning, a few issues were reported. Most notably, he reported that one voting station’s ballots displayed the incorrect sticker. The problem was, however, swiftly corrected. Replying to questions, Courtney affirmed that while no official complaint was lodged, there have been rumours of party intimidation at certain voting stations.
After two years of planning and employing 18000 IEC staff, he said that expectedly the first hour was the most tense. Operations are now in full swing.
Reining in on the occasion, VOC reporters took to the streets and visited voting stations around the City of Cape Town, broadcasted live from the IEC offices in Century City, and participated in the official IEC election observer tour. The tour group visited voting stations in Langa, Athlone, Manenberg, Mitchell’s Plain, and Khayelitsha.
Langa’s Isilimela voting station, which had 5768 registered voters, saw residents come out in their numbers to cast their vote. Home to a predominantly Black population, unemployment within the township remains at 70%. Considering this fact, it was interesting to witness a large population of elderly voters stream in to vote, with a few youngers trickling about. Given the economic climate that the country currently faces, many voters said that they are voting for change and assert their conviction that the ANC has made positive contributions to Langa.
VOC roving reporters visited voting stations on the Cape Flats where they documented voters sentiments on this years local elections, with many residents saying that they are unhappy with service delivery, but feel that voting can effect change. Early this morning, we visited Taronga Road Masjid and Hanover Park Civic Centre in Ward 47 where queues began to swell as residents excitedly began their day by voting.
Police visibility was evident throughout the City in anticipation of violent protests and the possible outbreak of gang violence.
Residents in Masiphumelele witnessed the continued campaigning of the three major political parties. While residents say that they have not been politically active in the community, 1000 people have voted so far and 5000 are expected to vote by end of today.
While residents in both Langa and Athlone lamented the ANC’s proud history, Manenberg residents partied in the streets as music from loud speakers rang from a DA campaign table. The Portuguese election observer soon joined in the celebrations, as residents danced around.
Steenberg’s residents say that they were forgotten about and that they are more inclined to vote for smaller parties.
Khayelitsha voters voiced their concern at what they describe as the City’s continued gentrification of land. Many voters called for the renewal of Nelson Mandela’s vision for the country. Despite 4907 resgistered voters at the Chumisa voting station, voters sppeared to slowly trickle in.
With 143 voters, Robben Island voting station is considered the smallest voting station. One ward in Khayelitsha, however, beat that constituency with only six voters. The six voters left their ward with the announcement of a new ward, witht he majority of voters choosing to remain with their ward councillor.