Only 0.6% of voting stations affected by community protests, says IEC

2019-01-26 13:22
IEC. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

IEC. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Saturday said that only 140 voting stations - that constitute 0.6% of all voting stations in the country - have been affected by sporadic community protests.

"Voting stations were unable to open in time due to protest action; as of 11:00 this morning, approximately 140 stations were not open due to the protest.

"The underlying demand is service delivery-related, hence why they are saying [protestors] do not want to vote," IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo told the media at a briefing in Tshwane.

This comes as the IEC holds its final voter registration weekend nationwide ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The electoral body further urged South Africans to protest peacefully in a manner which does not infringe on a person's right to exercise their vote.

Registration is reported to be proceeding smoothly and efficiently, despite the less than 1% disruptions, according to the electoral body.

"Approximately 99% of the 22 925 voting stations were opened on time and a steady stream of eligible voters visited stations to register and update their registration details," Mamabolo said.

ALSO READ: PICS: #VoterRegistrationWeekend - These first-time voters prepare to make their mark

The IEC noted several challenges experienced by registration officials relating to weather conditions across the country.

"Weather conditions in a number of provinces affected access to voting stations especially due to flooding or impassable roads.

"In particular, voting stations located in tents were affected by strong winds and heavy rains in the eastern Free State, parts of Gauteng, the coastal regions of KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Limpopo," he added.

The IEC said it continued to work closely with state security agencies to monitor the situation in affected areas and appealed to all South Africans to register to vote in the upcoming elections.

"We urge all South Africans to make use of the final opening of voting stations this weekend to register and update addresses for the upcoming national and provincial elections," Mamabolo said.

The IEC will only be able to confirm the total number of first-time voters registered on Tuesday; however, there will be a targeted registration at institutions of higher learning to give students an opportunity to vote.

South Africans should note that as soon as President Cyril Ramaphosa proclaims the election date, the voters' roll for the 2019 elections will close.

Read more on:    iec  |  2019 general elections  |  tshwane  |  voter registration
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