South Africa turns out for fifth democratic elections


    7 May 2014

    South Africa’s fifth national and provincial elections were proceeding “smoothly, peacefully and briskly” overall, Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya reported shortly after 11am on Wednesday morning.

    “Shortly after the scheduled 7am start of voting, 89% of the 22 263 voting stations had reported opening on schedule,” Moepya told journalists at at the Independendent Electoral Commission’s (IEC’s) central Results Operation Centre in Pretoria.

    “This had increased to over 95% by 9am as election staff reported in on the system following the opening rush.”

    He said voting stations that had experienced opening delays were in the process of opening by 11am, attributing the delays in some areas to the late delivery of voting material.

    Strong winds in George and Atlantis in the Western Cape, and Upington in the Northern Cape, had also damaged tents used as temporary voting stations, causing delays in those places.

    Moepya said isolated protest action had affected the opening of voting stations in Maruleng in Limpopo, Gugulethu in Springs, Botshabelo in the Free State, eNgcobo in the Eastern Cape and Barcelona in Khayalitsha in the Western Cape.

    “We also received a report of an accident involving an IEC area manager near Gariep in the Free State. The manager was not severely injured and we wish him a speedy recovery.

    “We have also had a report of an accident near Barkley West in the Northern Cape in which a party agent died and another was critically injured in an accident on their way to a voting station. We would like to express our condolences to their families,” he said.

    Moepya thanked residents in areas that had been identified as election “hotspots”, saying voting was proceeding smoothly in these areas. “The Electoral Commission is pleased to report significantly fewer incidents of community protest action affecting the voting process early today, with voting proceeding calmly although quietly in many previously affected areas.

    “We would like to thank those communities for working with us to allow voting to proceed. This includes Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape, Bekkersdal in Gauteng, and Malamulele in Limpopo.”