The Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced that vote counting for the 2021 Municipal Elections has been completed.

“At the level of capturing, 96.9 percent of results are already in the system awaiting scanning and auditing. This means of the 64 502 results expected, 62 500 have been captured into the results system,” IEC General Manager: Electoral Matters Granville Abrahams said.

Addressing a media briefing on Wednesday, Abrahams said of the 62 161 results captured, 53 209 have been scanned into an image and thus available.

“The completion rate in the Northern Cape is 95.5 percent, 88 percent in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape 83 percent; Mpumalanga 85.4 and the Free State are at 87 percent. The completion rate in the rest of the provinces ranges between 60 and 80 percent,” he said.

The IEC has affirmed its commitment to finalising results expeditiously while taking care to ensure that all necessary verifications are enforced.

“Progress in relation to the finalisation of results now stands at 79 percent of expected results. The number of completed municipalities now stands 139 from a total of 257,” Abrahams said.

He said all results are now being transcribed to result slips and all these result slips are at local offices.

“At the local office, they are required to check them for arithmetic accuracy. It is then captured once into the system, the screen goes blank and we capture it the second time. We call this double blind capturing. It is done to verify what was captured the first time is correct, once those numbers are verified the result slip is confirmed, scanned and matched to the result.

“We have auditors at all of our capturing sites. We also have the national audit manager for the project monitoring the operations. These are independent auditors. It’s not the internal audit function of the IEC,” Abrahams said.

The auditors verify that the information on the form is the same as what was captured in the system. The auditor has a unique code to enter the result system and nobody knows the code.

“Once all of those controls are done, the result is cleared. 96.9% of all the result slips have been captured and are in the system. The remaining 3.1% is focused primarily in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Gauteng.

“We have, however, expedited Gauteng by providing additional capacity as far as the capturing phase is concerned, which should be done very soon.

“As far as the auditors is concerned, we cannot rush the auditors. It is essential do their work independently without any pressure from the IEC,” he said.

Abrahams said the IEC is not behind in finalising the results, as they must be announced within seven days of the election.

Source: South African Government News Agency