IEC (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
The Eastern Cape Provincial Joint Operations Centre (JOC) says it is all systems go for the upcoming May 8 elections.
The SA Police Service (SAPS) in the province says sufficient officers will be deployed to voting stations from Monday, when special votes will be cast, to Wednesday when all citizens will be heading to the polls, and will will ensure that the election process takes place peacefully.
There are 4 791 polling stations in the province.
"I would like to assure members of the public that all safety and security measures have been put in place to create an environment for crime free elections," Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga said.
READ: It's all systems go for May 8 elections - IEC
Ntshinga said there are certain areas that have been identified as hotspots and have been categorized as low, medium and high risks.
She said there are also measures in place to mitigate any potential threats in accordance with the threat assessment.
"To this end we have ensured that additional manpower and reserve forces are available to deal with any eventualities or situations that may require speedy interventions," she said.
Ntshinga said no criminal acts, intimidation and disruptive behaviour will be tolerated at stations during the voting period.
"We are aware of instigators in various parts of the Province and we will deal with them without fear or favour," said Ntshinga.
Eastern Cape Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) Provincial Executive Officer Khayakazi Magudumane said there has been a large number of citizens who applied for special votes. She said the Provincial Results Operational Centre (ROC) will be launched on Sunday.
To ensure access to the correct documentation, the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) will extend operational hours at front line offices from May 6 to 8 in a drive to assist eligible voters to collect identity documents (IDs).
To assist the people who lost their belongings including IDs in the flood-ravaged areas in the Eastern Cape, Port St Johns in particular, the DoHA said it has been hard at work ensuring that people get correct documentation that will enable them to vote.
The MEC for COGTA Fikile Xasa has called for tolerance over this period in order to realise the objective of peaceful elections without any disruptions across the province.
He urged communities to exercise their right to vote and assured them that all the challenges relating to service delivery in some parts of the Province will be attended to continuously by the Government.
"Government calls for patience from all community members as Government will continue to attend to service delivery concerns even beyond elections. We encourage our communities to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming elections and to do so in secret in a free and fair environment."
"We would like to see visible political leadership to ensure that any possible acts of disruption are attended to urgently. We all have a national duty to secure the right of all South Africans to exercise their hard won right to choose the leadership to represent them in the 6th administration. We dare not fail," said MEC Xasa.
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