The Electoral Commission in KwaZulu-Natal says despite the minor logistical problems experienced in some voting stations earlier today, at least 80% of voting stations opened on time, with 1 263 352 (or 23%) voters having cast their ballot by 4pm.

The Commission said a few voting stations opened late for a number of reasons, including a dispute regarding traditional leadership at KwaNyavu in Mkhambathini Municipality reported on Sunday, where voting station officers were not comfortable working at the voting station because they reside in the area and were receiving threats which made them feel unsafe.

“To resolve the situation, the IEC swapped staff around by sourcing personnel that resides outside the area to conduct voting station operations. Road blockages were also experienced in Ward 15 in Jozini Municipality. The South African Police Service (SAPS), together with the municipality, assisted with clearing the roads. The last voting station to open in the ward was Ludaka Primary School at about 9am,” the Commission reported.

Road closures were also experienced in uThukela region. However, they were cleared by SAPS members. In KwaMaphumulo Ward 3 (Elungeni Primary School), gates to the voting station were locked by the community.

“SAPS were able to break the lock to gain access. We have received reports that in some voting stations, presiding officers were not allowing voters to go through the process until they were successfully scanned through the Voter Management Devices (VMDs). That has been addressed through the bulk SMS facility.

“There was also a voting station that was broken into overnight in eThekwini Metro Ward 14. Voting station officers had left the voting station prepared for today. Everything was vandalised, however, it was only bulk material, which is voting compartments, ballot boxes and tables,” the Commission said.

Source: South African Government News Agency