'Panic stations' as big parties re-activate ground operations amid low voter turn out

2019-05-08 18:55
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - MAY 7 :  South Africans w
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The ANC, DA and IFP have deployed its members back on the ground in an attempt to get more South Africans out to voting stations.

This, as early indications of the 2019 national elections show a low voter turn-out in townships across the country.

News24 election analyst Dawie Scholtz said there was an emerging gap between voters in the townships and suburbs, which could cause "serious concern" for the ANC.

Scholtz has been tracking voter turnout for the sixth democratic elections using the hashtag #turnouttracker on Twitter.

The ANC's Dakota Legoete told News24 they were working on "turning it around".

The party's treasurer general Paul Mashatile, who was in Alexandra, speaking to News24 said queues had picked up dramatically and were moving quickly.

ANC's deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte, who visited Soweto this afternoon, said queues had picked up but admitted that they had been moving slowly. Duarte also corroborated Mashatile's observations in Soweto, where she also visited some voting stations.

"What we need now, is for people coming from work to get to their voting stations," said Duarte, who also said the ANC had some concern over stations that ran out of ballot papers due to an influx or voters who went there to vote because their own stations might have opened late.

News24 also understands that all ANC national executive committee members had been sent to go mobilise in their own voting districts.

It's also believed that the DA in the Eastern Cape had deployed its members back on the ground, to get people to voting stations.

By Wednesday evening, several South Africans were still receiving messages from political parties urging them to vote before the voting stations closed at 21:00, warning them of giving their rivals an advantage if they don't mark their "X". 

The IFP's Mkhuleko Hlengwa admitted that "things were bad" on the ground in KwaZulu-Natal.

"Voter turnout in KwaZulu-Natal is bad, we have reactivated our ground operation in KZN," he said.

All the while the third largest party, the EFF appeared unfazed, with its party members at the IEC's results operations centre seemingly in a relaxed mood.

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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