HIGHER Education and Training Minister Naledi Pandor with voters at the Isilimela Comprehensive School voting station in Langa.
Cape Town - Voting at the Langa and Bonteheuwel stations got off to a slow start as cold and wet weather closed in.

A few voters managed to make their way to the polling stations, braving the morning rain, but from 7am to 10am at Moshesh Primary School in Langa only 129 voters pitched up.

Ntomboxolo Khwatsha, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) presiding officer, said they had more than 1 900 voters on their voters roll.

According to Kwatsha, the majority of the voters in the morning were elderly and disabled persons.

At the Isilimela Comprehensive School and Ikamvalethu voting stations in Langa, voting was speedy, taking voters an average of 15 minutes to complete the process.

All the voting venues were opened on time with a high police presence, and even Education Minister Naledi Pandor visited the Isilimela Comprehensive School voting station to check on proceedings.

In Bonteheuwel, 83-year-old and frail Rosie Payne braved the cold and wet weather to cast her vote at the EA Janari Primary School. Sceptical about casting her vote in this year's elections, Payne criticised the IEC for not planning transportation arrangements for the elderly.

First-time voter Tiara Bantom, 19, from Bonteheuwel said: “I never wanted to vote as I did not see a reason to and I was still undecided as to who I would vote for.”

Bantom said she was persuaded by her parents and church members to register and vote.

“Bonteheuwel is a crime and gangster-infested township and I would like the upcoming government to do something about it,” she said.

Soraya Salie, founder of Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies and a peace ambassador for the International Women's Peace Group, said: “I've been voting since democracy and for me it is still exciting and still an honour to cast my vote.”

Fezile Gawe from Langa said: “I want the government to recognise our African spiritual religion and our prophets.”


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Cape Argus