IEC slammed as officials wait for pay

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Durban - The president, ministers, and members of Parliament have been sworn in, but five weeks after the elections, presiding officers and officials who tallied the votes and worked more than 15 hours on polling day are yet to be paid in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

The Daily News spoke to several presiding officers who confirmed they had not been paid in spite of having been told to expect payment two weeks after the elections.

It has been three weeks since that deadline passed, and they are still waiting.

One presiding officer, who headed a station in oThongathi, said she was in debt.

“They promised that they would pay us after 14 days. I worked hard as a presiding officer and now I am not even sure when I will be paid,” she said.

The unemployed mother of young children aged between 3 and 8, said she had to borrow a car, at a cost to her, to meet the IEC’s requirements, so that she would be able to collect voting material during the elections.

She worked for three days for the electoral commission, two days for special votes and on May 7 for the main poll.

The woman said those stationed around oThongathi, Westbrook, Seatide, Ocean Drive Inn, La Mercy, La Lucia and Verulam were still waiting to be paid.

“When you work you expect that you will be paid, you make promises to people that you will pay them back.

“For me to work as a presiding officer, a lot of people were under my supervision and now they are asking me where the money is.

“These are struggling young girls and boys, what do I say to them?”

Another presiding officer in Verulam, who works as a schoolteacher, said he was angry because there were no explanations forthcoming.

“I don’t want to lie. It’s painful because we have worked hard.

“It’s been a month of people waiting and officials that do not have jobs, they volunteered their time, they are calling me wanting their money.”

An unemployed woman in Ntuzuma, who presided over a voting station in Ntuzuma, said she was “upset” because this was the first time she had been let down by the IEC.

“We went to write tests and did training workshops and we passed. We worked for three days and now we can’t get paid,” she said.

The woman slammed the IEC for not taking care of those who had manned the polls and said they worked from 5am on election day to 2am the following day.

Mawethu Mosery, the provincial head of the IEC, said the IEC hired 50 000 people for the elections in KZN and that 10 percent were yet to be paid.

He said they would be paid by next Friday.

Mosery said presiding officers were either teachers or principals, and could not be unemployed, and said they were generally paid about R2 000.

He said if officials had not been paid and were not being responded to in their regions, they should contact the provincial offices of the IEC who would be able to tell them when they would be paid.

Daily News


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