IEC: We are open for business

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IEC op centre PTA

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The IEC's national results operations centre in Pretoria. Photo: @journalist_jill

Johannesburg - The elections are open, up and running despite some glitches, the IEC said on Wednesday morning.

Both youth voters and some elections staff were a little late.

By 11am the final voting stations were opening, said Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya.

“Shortly after the scheduled 7am start of voting, 89 percent of the 22 263 voting stations had reported opening on schedule. This had increased to over 95 percent by 9am as election staff reported in on the system following the opening rush,” said Moepya.

“These delays were primarily of a logistical and staffing nature.”

He said some staff and the escorting security personnel were late, some voting materials arrived late, there were delays in getting voting stations unlocked, and even a boat used to get personnel over a river to a voting station in KZN was late.

Youth voters were believed to be a little late in getting to the polls but the IEC expects them later on Wednesday.

“The Electoral Commission is pleased to report significantly fewer incidents of community protest action affecting the voting process early today, with voting proceeding calmly although quietly in many previously affected areas,” said Moepya.

He said voting was underway Bekkersdal in Gauteng, Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape and Maramulele in Limpopo, all areas which had all experienced protests earlier.

Moepya said there were isolated protests in Maruleng in Limpopo, Gugulethu in Springs, Gauteng, Bothsabelo in the Free State, Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape, and Barcelona in Khayalitsha, Western Cape.

Moepya said there were no areas of the country were voting stations were not expected to open on Wednesday.

Two party agents were in a vehicle accident near Barkly West; one died and the other was severely injured.

An IEC area manager was injured, but not severely, in another accident near Gariep in the Free State.

Moepya thanked the security services for ensuring peace and stability.

“We would also like to thank the voters who continue to inspire us all as they stand together patiently, proudly and passionately to vote in what has become a symbol of our nation,” said Moepya.

“We are open for business. We do not have any difficulties. We are satisfied with the arrangements,” said IEC deputy chairman Terry Tselane.

The IEC emphasised that nobody who was in a voting queue before 9pm tonight would be turned away.

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