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Load shedding hampering vote capturing as IEC rushes to beat 4pm shutdown

Ntombifuthi Masinga, the acting provincial chief electoral manager. Picture: Thokozani Mbunda/ African News Agency (ANA)

Ntombifuthi Masinga, the acting provincial chief electoral manager. Picture: Thokozani Mbunda/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 3, 2021

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Durban - Eskom’s load shedding continues to hamper the auditing and capturing of Monday’s local government elections results, with the Electoral Commission of South Africa in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday saying it was in a race against time not to be affected later in the day.

Giving a periodical briefing on Wednesday from the IEC results centre in Durban, Ntombifuthi Masinga, the acting provincial chief electoral manager, said Tuesday’s load shedding affected eThekwini, Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg) and Mtubatuba.

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“Load shedding interfered with the capturing of results in these (sites). Unfortunately, I was with the team of eThekwini at Moses Mabhida stadium when the power went off at 10pm. Unfortunately, the generator capacity there is maybe good for lighting. It is not very helpful with the kind of operation that we are running. So, it could not manage with the load that we carry in the results that we are capturing.

“So, as of now, of the 1750 eThekwini wards, which accounts for all their PR (Proportional Representatives) and their ward ballots, they still have 500 to capture, but looking at the pace that they worked yesterday, that 500 is gonna be easy for them,” Masinga said.

However, she said they are still on track to audit and capture results coming from all over the province. By 11am on Wednesday, Masinga said they were sitting at 87, and there were still no formal objections from parties about the results even though the EFF from Inanda marched to the Moses Mabhida result centre to complain about an anomaly that was later resolved without affecting the result.

She said stabbing and shooting incidents reported in some parts of the province were not elections-related. Hence, they could not be considered to have contributed to denting the free and fairness of the voting process.

Meanwhile, the results centre was still a hive of activity by Wednesday, with the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), which recently cleaned the slate in northern KwaZulu-Natal, sending their leaders like treasurer, Narend Singh, to conduct interviews.

The ANC, which was still holding on to the pole position in eThekwini, sent its provincial spokesperson, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, to conduct media interviews about the elections.

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