INSIDE the nerve centre for next week’s general election, the Results Operation Centre at the Tshwane Events Centre. South Africans go to the polls on May 8. Oupa Mokoena/ African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - With less than a week to go before election day, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) confirmed that everything was in place and ready for the country’s sixth national and provincial elections.

The IEC said final preparations would be made over the coming weekend for the opening of the country’s 22924 voting stations.

“This includes the securing of keys and access to voting station venues and the pitching of 1059 tents where no suitable permanent structures are available,” said IEC commissioner Janet Love.

Love said there were over 60 million ballot papers for the national and nine provincial elections, almost 300000 ballot boxes, nearly 45000 voting compartments, about 25000 voting station arrow signs and 56255 stationery packs.

“The materials will be escorted by South African Police Service officers and other security personnel to ensure safe delivery to voting stations.”

Special votes will take place on Monday and Tuesday with voting stations opening at 9am until 5pm.

On election day, Wednesday, voting stations will open from 7am until 9pm, but all voters who are in the queue by that time will be allowed to vote which will enable the 26.7million registered voters to cast their ballots.

The IEC said voting stations would be staffed by almost 189 election officials who have been trained over the past two months to conduct elections.

On the possibilities of load shedding, the IEC said Eskom had assured them there would be enough capacity to provide power supply. The IEC said it also had contingency plans in place should the lights go out.

Meanwhile, some schools in the volatile Vuwani area in Limpopo have refused to lease their premises for use as voting stations, fearing their buildings would be targeted by irate community members.

“There have been (school) principals who have refused to sign the lease agreements with the IEC so that they can hand over their schools as voting stations.

Those schools have been reduced to six now,” government’s justice, crime prevention and security cluster said yesterday.

Pretoria News