Babies allowed to cut the line

2011-05-18 10:31

Johannesburg - Bringing baby along to the voting station proved to be a good decision for Jaco and Sarah Els, who got to move to the front of the queue to cast their votes.

The queue at the Midrand High School had almost tripled in size since the doors opened at 07:00.

"It was a lovely experience, they [electoral officers] were very efficient and we were in and out in about 20 minutes," said Sarah.

Her husband Jaco, who was in charge of pushing baby Rebecca's pram, said that it was their second voting experience since moving to Midrand.

The last time the couple voted, it took them two hours to reach the front of the queue.

Service delivery, potholes

The pair were hopeful that their votes would help ensure that service delivery was met and that potholes would be addressed.

"We are hoping that they fix some problems that have been part of this community for so long," said Jaco.

Being able to return home early would mean being able to catch up on household chores.

"I am so happy that it didn’t take too long. We can now go home sort out some things we don’t usually have time for," said Sarah.

Many warmly-dressed voters turned-up early on Wednesday with flasks in hand.

The station's presiding officer Charlotte Zita said it would be a long and difficult day.

"It has been hectic," she said.

"People have been queuing up here since 06:00, before we even opened, hence you can see the long queue so it is going to be a very long day."

She said all the logistics were in place to accommodate the 3 800 voters expected at the station.

  • Mikemcc - 2011-05-18 10:41

    Standard practice in many countries, the same applies to pregnant women and the elderly.

      GinSA1 - 2011-05-18 11:07

      Great start off at Sharonlea Primary. 20 minutes from when they opened to finish. Efficient, friendly and courteous IEC staffing. Well done. 1 Guy tried his luck with his Gym towel around his neck and confidently walked past us all to the front of the queue, to be met by a vociferous objection from another Voter who had been there since 6 and was first in line. The Police (guy and a woman) quietly and EFFECTIVELY removed him from the front and told him to take his place. He left, hahaha.

      Redwine - 2011-05-18 11:53

      Foolish of parents could they not come and vote seperately? What if they were not given preference the baby could have been in pram all day long.

      Nickwes - 2011-05-18 17:33

      @Redwine: are you drunk? So between the two parents they must spend the entire day at the voting station - 2 to 3 hours each? Go back to your wine!

  • Batgirl78 - 2011-05-18 11:27

    We were in and out in just over 20 mins. The elderly were escorted by the IEC official to the front of the line - which was a nice gesture on their part. :-)

  • Schroeds - 2011-05-18 11:31

    View of young South African.

      Grant - 2011-05-18 11:46

      Good article - why not post on News24?

  • 50something - 2011-05-18 12:21

    So that's why Malema wants thm to have 6 kids!

  • BettyBlue - 2011-05-18 12:22

    By 11 this morning, the station at Magalies School in Pretoria had run out of balot papers! How is this possible? Don't they know how many voters to expect? How many people go home and never return (and any way - WHEN should we go back? How long does it take them to go and fetch some more?)

  • The Dad - 2011-05-18 12:24

    I was in the line when Jaco and Sarah Els passed us with their little one. I must say, in the spirit of humanity and of the day that I did not mind at all. Their baby is just sooooo little and it was a cold morning. I was lucky enough to be able to leave my daughter at home and that gives me some empathy. As for the queuing - we joined at just before 7, were about 150th in line and were out an hour later. It went quite well and the spirit was good! Well done everybody. Well done South Africa.

  • Jsn247 - 2011-05-18 17:14

    Load of croc. We were in the queue with our baby in the windy streets and were forced to wait for 45 minutes whilst elderly where happily sheparded to the front and then bumped us about 20 times at the front of the queue. IEC says it is up to the individual polling station and there is no rule about this.

  • Nickwes - 2011-05-18 17:32

    @Redwine: are you drunk? So between the two parents they must spend the entire day at the voting station - 2 to 3 hours each? Go back to your wine!

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