Flooding in the informal settlement of BottleBrush, south of Durban. (Rajesh Jantilal, AFP)
KwaZulu-Natal is in a race against the clock to ensure all access roads and voting stations affected by recent flooding are ready for the general elections on Wednesday.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) on Monday said it was "racing against time" to ensure that vital elections infrastructure affected during the Easter weekend floods are repaired by Wednesday.
"The task is enormous by any measure with as many as 233 reported instances of damage to access roads to voting stations or voting stations themselves. We are monitoring the progress as the affected municipalities undertake the necessary repairs," said Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
She said municipalities requiring external help would be co-opted by the provincial department of transport.
Of the 233 reported incidents of damage to the election's infrastructure in municipalities, access roads and voting stations in uMzumbe and eThekwini were the worst affected.
Home Affairs asked to waive ID fee for those lost in floods
Other municipalities where damage reports were filed included uMfolozi, uMhlathuze, Mthonjaneni, uMzimkhulu, uMdoni and Ray Nkonyeni.
The department would also work with the affected municipalities and the Electoral Commission (IEC) to facilitate the timeous replacement of all identity documents lost during the floods.
"For our part, we have requested municipalities to assist financially all those who cannot afford the application fee for a temporary ID certificate. Home Affairs has been asked to waive the R70 application fee for this document. We have also mobilised municipal councillors to extend their assistance to residents of their wards or areas of deployment,” said Dube-Ncube.
She said the department "remains confident that it can attend to all the reported challenges before the voting day".
"The department has been on top of its game since the floods first struck the province. It would not have been able to respond as fast as it did or as comprehensively as it is still doing without the help of all other key stakeholders, including the IEC."
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.