Frantic messages from parties in last minute push to increase voter turnout

2019-05-08 20:16
IEC election voters
IEC tape around a voting station.

"Don't leave things to chance."

"The race is too close to call…"

"One hour left…"

These were just some of the frantic messages which came from political parties on Wednesday as they furiously tried to get last minute voters to the polls. The smses had been coming thick and fast all day, but those sent in the final hours of the day could be seen as parties worried about low voter turnout.

The DA sent out smses such as, "Just a few hours left to join 1000s of GP residents, uniting to bring change. Vote DA, we have until 9pm. Help: or 08612255532. STOP to opt out."

An EFF message read: "This message serves as a reminder to VoteEFF TODAY both Nationally and Provincially. OurLand&JobsNow. #VoteEFF".

With two hours to go before polls closed, the EFF issued a short statement, saying: "The EFF calls on all who have not voted yet to come out in their numbers and do the right thing: Two Hours to go before the Voting Stations close."

By 20:00, the party's leader Julius Malema sent South Africans one final message via Twitter, urging them to make the most of the final hour to make their mark.

In a recorded telephonic message, the voice of the DA's former leader, Helen Zille, sent a "warning" to South Africans, saying:

"… I have a crucial message. Right now in the Western Cape the election is neck and neck between the DA and the ANC. Everybody is needed to keep the Western Cape blue and to keep our province delivering. We cannot allow the ANC to gain ground and bring corruption back to this province. Polling stations are only open for a few more hours. I'm asking you to go out and vote DA before it's too late."  

The party also sent out an sms which read: "The race in the Western Cape is too close to call. We cannot allow the corrupt ANC & EFF to take over. Vote DA by 21h00! Call 0861225532 for help."

A screenshot of a DA campaign SMS.

A screenshot of DA's campaign SMS.


A message from the ANC sent earlier in the day read: "Voting stations are now open. Don't leave things to chance. Make sure you and your loved ones go and cast your vote. Let's grow South Africa together! #VoteANC."

With an hour left to go, the party also took to Twitter to make the final call to voters.

News24 reported on Wednesday night that the ANC, DA and IFP had sent its members back into communities in an effort to get more voters to the polls as early polling showed low turnout.

News24 elections analyst Dawie Scholtz said there was also a lower turnout for voters in townships than in suburban areas, which was a problem for the ANC.

Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections. Make sure your News24 app is updated to access all our elections coverage in one place.

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