This year’s elections start on a positive note

An IEC presiding officer assisting an elderly man to cast his vote in Sicelo informal settlement. Picture: Itumeleng English

An IEC presiding officer assisting an elderly man to cast his vote in Sicelo informal settlement. Picture: Itumeleng English

Published May 29, 2024


South Africans turned out in their numbers to cast their votes in the historic elections on Wednesday.

“The Star” visited the Midrand Primary School voting district in the morning and was greeted by long lines of people eagerly waiting for the doors of the voting station to open.

Noordwyk resident Shawn Madubela said she couldn’t wait to cast her vote and protect “the gains of freedom”.

Madubela said she was a staunch ANC supporter and believed the party had achieved a lot in the 30 years it had been in power.

“It is disingenuous for some people to say the ANC has not done anything for the past years. The ANC-led government has built schools and infrastructure; kids have gone to school.

“It has built hospitals, roads and houses for the poor and marginalised. Our grandparents are receiving grants and, yes, it’s not enough, taking into consideration the current economic situation, but it has made strides.”

Tony Leope, from Country View, said he wanted to exercise his right and duty to the country by making sure he voted to put the right people in charge, people who would make prioritise governance above all else.

“We must make sure that we elect leaders who are compassionate and morally accountable. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same things about the current leadership leading our country.

“Our president has a forked tongue – he says one thing and means the opposite. Some of us are not surprised to find ourselves in this quagmire as a country,” Leope said.

Things started off smoothly at the voting stations until one of the voters, Emma Molapo, who had applied to vote at Midrand Primary was surprised to find that her name was not on the voters roll.

Molapo said she was baffled as she had received a confirmation email from the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) that her voting station had been changed from Union Buildings VD to Midrand Primary.

“This is sheer incompetence from the commission. How can one apply to vote at a particular station and when one arrives there, one is told to go elsewhere?

“This is an unnecessary inconvenience. Now, I have to go to Pretoria to vote, yet I made arrangement to avoid this situation. I am honestly not happy. What’s the point of being mobilised to vote and they are not ready to serve us?” the frustrated voter added.

It was a lucky day for Eunice Khumalo, who had initially registered to cast her vote in Sandton, but instead voted at Midrand Primary School.

“I had applied to go vote at the Sandton station, but I decided to go check my name because I was here to drop off my sister to vote.

“I don’t know how this happened because I had applied to be moved to Sandton because I have relocated that side,” Khumalo said.

Under the electoral law, a person can vote only at the station where they are registered, unless they have previously successfully applied for a Section 24A vote and notified the commission of their intention to vote at another voting station.

A total of 23 292 polling stations were open on Wednesday from 7am to 9pm.

The IEC said 1 668 076 South Africans had been approved for special votes. Of those, 624 593 were visited by election officers in their homes and places of confinement to cast their votes.

The Star