File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

Port Elizabeth - The delay in opening 56 voter registration stations in the Eastern Cape are due to communities embarking on service delivery protests for various reasons as well as dissatisfaction with the demarcation process, the South African Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in the province said on Saturday.

The first day of the last voter registration weekend on Saturday ahead of the 2019 general election commenced throughout the Eastern Cape with officials reporting readiness and confirmation of receipt of the necessary materials, provincial electoral officer Kayakazi Magudumana said in a statement.

"Reasons cited for the delay in opening stations as at [10.30 am] are where communities are embarking on service delivery protests for various reasons as well as dissatisfaction with the demarcation process. Out of the 4791 stations in the Eastern Cape there are currently 56 stations that have not yet opened," she said.

Areas most affected by these external factors were 29 in the Amahlati Municipality. 

"The impact of this situation is regrettable. However, it is out of our control and we are working closely with the South African Police Service to address security-related matters as well as the safety of the voters and our officials."

While the weather had turned out to be slightly more ominous than previously predicted, at this stage the impact had been inconsequential. Statistics of the number of voters who had visited the stations would only be known after the registration weekend and all relevant information had been uploaded on to the database, Magudumana said.

African News Agency (ANA)