A sign at one of the entrances to Orania in the Northern Cape. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Orania - A total of 300 voters, out of a population of 750 registered voters, had cast their votes for the new Orania council on Wednesday afternoon - the same day the local government elections took place.

Residents elected the independent committee to represent the town, community and businesses at government level and inform them of any council decisions.

Orania spokesman Jaco Kleynhans said the elections took place at two venues.

“A reasonable amount of residents came to vote for the council. The wind and cold weather most probably kept many voters indoors.”

He said any resident staying for more than three months in Orania was eligible to be nominated on to the council. “The council is apolitical.”

He added that some residents chose to vote in the IEC’s elections.

“We did not prescribe whether the community should vote although we encouraged them to elect the 12 members of the local Orania council structure.”

Kleynhans said 16 residents would be in charge of counting.

“Most businesses were closed for the day although the petrol station and cafe remained open.”

Kleynhans said the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) was a popular choice in Orania.

“The general consensus amongst voters was that they would not be voting for the Thembelihle district municipality.

“Residents feel that they are able to provide their own municipal services. Some residents indicated that they would vote for the Pixley ka Seme Proportional Representative candidates in the IEC elections.”

He said elections for the mayor of Orania would take place in September.

“We have a good relationship with the local municipality. All political parties were invited to campaign in Orania. We had voters from the surrounding districts who voted at the Orania voting station. That saved them from travelling to Hopetown or Strydenburg where there is a strong contest amongst the various political parties.”

FF+ provincial leader Wynand Boshoff advised that it was beneficial to have eyes and ears to keep the Orania community up to date on municipal activities.

EFF Thembelihle municipal candidate Danny Jonas said he would visit the voting station in Orania during the night.

“We have a good relationship with the people in Orania and believe that positive things can come out of working together.”

He added that some voters in Hopetown did not have their thumbs marked before they voted.

“We suspect that they could have voted twice.”

He was confident that the EFF would take control of the Thembelihle Municipality. “The EFF did not receive votes in 2014 by mistake and the party will receive votes again in 2016.”

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