IEC elections results centre in Pretoria. Picture: GCIS
IEC elections results centre in Pretoria. Picture: GCIS

In a statement‚ the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said some voting stations were unable to open on time due to access to the stations being prevented by protest action‚ including the barricading of roads. The commission’s spokesperson‚ Kate Bapela‚ said approximately 140 voting stations (0.6 percent) around the country didn’t open due to community protests.

Areas where community protests were reported included:

• Eastern Cape: Amahlati; Mbizana; Thabankulu
• Free State: Bloemfontein (Khayelitsha)
• Gauteng: Tshwane (Mooiplaas; Pienaarspoort); Ekurhuleni (Kathlehong; Boksburg; Sebokeng); West Rand (Munsieville); Johannesburg (Lawley; Ivory Park)
• KwaZulu-Natal: Ulundi; uMsunduzi; Ndwedwe;
• Limpopo: Elias Motsoaledi; Polokwane; Ramamabolo; Giyani;
• Mpumalanga: Gert Sibande; Sekunda; Bushbuckridge
• North West: Rustenburg
• Northern Cape: Dikgatlhong
• Western Cape: Gugulethu

The commission has urged 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.

“Our contact centre is experiencing high call volumes which we are efficiently handling. So far‚ we received 2‚700 calls‚ 300 social media queries and 200 e-mails since 8am‚” the commission said in a statement.

The IEC also said the inclement weather conditions in most provinces had affected access to voting stations.

“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‚” the commission said.

Despite the minimal disruption the commission said reports from its provincial operations confirm the opening of approximately 99 percent of the 22‚925 voting stations on time and a steady stream of eligible voters visiting stations to register and update their registration details.