Johannesburg - South Africans who are curious about the election results should expect a long and excruciating wait ahead as the smallest voting stations are only expected to start reporting their results at 11 pm.
IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela told Independent Media that there were no concrete times set for when the tally of votes trickling in from around the country can be expected.
She said, historically, the smallest voting stations were usually the first to report their results and for the bigger stations, the wait maybe even longer.
The IEC has big results board at the national results operating centre which indicates various voting spots around the country. This where the first sight of the results is seen.
“At 9 pm when our voting stations close our officials and political parties will take a two-minute break and then they begin the sorting and the counting. After they have done the sorting and the counting, historically the first station that posts the results comes somewhere between 11 pm and midnight and it will be our smallest station and that is why we do the bell ceremony which indicates that the first results are in. It’s usually the smallest station,” Bapela said.
“Once those results come then every other voting station starts reporting. After results have been counted and everybody in the voting station agrees then the signing of the results slip is done by officials and party agents. The copy of those results will be posted on the door of the station and the other copy will be sent to the provincial office. Before we see them on the screen here they must have audited and confirmed by our auditors that everything matches,” she said.
Bapela said at around 3am more results usually start appearing on the results board, but were also generally smaller voting stations.
“The IEC as an organisation does not get the results first and check whether they can be broadcast or not we see them here with you guys. Normally around 3 am in the morning a lot of voting stations, especially those without big numbers, they start posting on the results board. By the time we get to the morning at around 11 am a lot of reporting will happen,” she said.
Historically, by Saturday, the IEC officially announces the final results.
Bapela stressed that these time-frames were estimates and do not take into account issues that may be encountered.IOL