WATCH: IFP says IEC was not prepared for local government elections

By Samkelo Mtshali Time of article published Nov 2, 2021

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IFP Chief Whip Narend Singh says the low voter turn out is cause for concern

Durban - The Chief Whip of the IFP in the National Assembly has criticised the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) for not being adequately prepared for Monday's elections.

Speaking to Independent Media at the KZN Results Operations Centre in Durban, Narend Singh, said that the IEC’s lack of preparedness was evident in the problems with the Voter Management Devices (VMD), failure of some voting stations to open on time and the disappearance of ballot boxes.

"I don't think they've covered themselves in glory, whether or not it's the Constitutional Court ruling that forced them to hold the elections earlier was the cause, but I think they should have been much better prepared.

“One would think with the IEC being around for so many years they would really have a grasp of things. It's not good enough to have a grasp of things at a national level , they need to get to the ground and we were on the ground and realised that many of the officials are not properly trained, they do not know the rules themselves and that causes a lot of confusion and friction on the ground,” Singh said.

He added: “Hopefully we can have a conversation, the country can have a conversation, on how the IEC needs to prepare better, how political parties need to go out in the next five years to get people to come out and vote because it should be their democratic right to do so."

Singh said that the low voter turnout and despondency amongst the electorate was not unexpected.

"The despondency amongst people arising out of corruption, the Zondo commission, other issues like the lack of service delivery and the service delivery protests are really things that made people stay away from the polls.

“And that's not a good sign because at the end of the day people need to realise that whether they stay away or not there's going to be a government in place in every single corner of South Africa, and people should have the right to choose the kind of government they want instead of sitting at home and being armchair critics.

He said the IFP had done its utmost to get voters out in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in particular.

“In Gauteng we've already seen some results of that hard work where we've won two wards ... we didn't have any wards there in 2016 and we are increasing our numbers, even in KZN we are taking municipalities that we had back in 2011 and that's a good sign for us," Singh said.

With vote counting on Tuesday still in the early stages, the IFP is currently behind the ANC in the provincial leader board with 25.32% of the counted votes so far and five seats, while the ANC sits on 43.34% of the vote with 12 seats .

The IFP is leading in several of its northern KZN strongholds such as Abaqulusi where it currently has 34% of the votes counted so far, while it has garnered 68.65% of the counted votes so far in uMsinga.

It is also currently in the lead in Nkandla where it has 59.92% of the counted votes so far while it is also in the lead in Ulundi with 56.96% of votes counted. The party also leads in Nongoma with 40.6% closely followed by the NFP which has currently garnered 39% of votes in the area.

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