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Smooth start to Northriding voting

2014-05-07 09:29
IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula (Werner Beukes, Sapa)
Johannesburg - Voting got off to brisk start in chilly weather on Wednesday at a polling booth in Northriding, in Johannesburg's northern suburbs.

First in line was Nick Hatfield, 39, of Northriding, who lives close to the polling station - set up in an open veld. He had arrived around 06:00, an hour before voting opened.

"I'm excited to put my mark down and make a difference," said Hatfield.

"I live just a block from here so I'm just nice and early."

Craig von Vincent, 31, of Johannesburg North, also decided to make his mark early in the day.

"I'm excited about voting, and I was on my way to gym so I thought I might as well do it now."

One voter in the queue brought his dog - a Great Dane - to wait in the queue. The man, who did not want to be named, said his dog needed the exercise.

Election officials at the polling booths said logistics were in place. Ballots had arrived and officials were waiting to facilitate the voting process.

Zimbabwe-born Neville Bowden, 62, of Northriding, said he had voted in every election in SA since 1994.

"I've voted every time since democracy," said Bowden, who had been waiting in the queue for nearly an hour since arriving shortly after 7am [07:00].

"I was born in Zimbabwe and I came here in the 1970s and the first time I voted was in South Africa."

Lolama Siqithi of Northriding, 31, said it was her third time voting.

"I'm seeing a very positive outcome with this vote," said Siqithi.

By 08:00, the queue had swelled to around 150 people, many waiting with their young children.

All voting stations should be open from 07:00 and close at 21:00.

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Read more on: iec  |  johannesburg  |  elections 2014

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