A dodgy water supply and a range of service delivery complaints in Grahamstown is not denting support for the African National Congress‚ with the party taking a strong lead in early counting.
The Democratic Alliance‚ which roped in party leader Mmusi Maimane to campaign in the area‚ is trailing the ANC – which has 67% of the votes counted aganst the DA’s 28%. The EFF is currently under four percent.
Problems cited in the run-up to Wednesday’s municipal election included slow housing delivery‚ eradicating the bucket toilet system‚ poor infrastructure and a lack of job opportunities.
The African National Congress is extending its early lead in the municipal elections‚ with Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape voters giving the ruling party the thumbs up.
The ANC has 60% of the 75‚000 votes counted with over 70% support in the two provinces and over 60% in KwaZulu-Natal. In the Nyandeni ward‚ the party has an overwhelming 96.88% of the votes counted.
Its showing in the battleground province of Gauteng is reflecting the early counting of suburban votes‚ with the Democratic Alliance leading so far – with 52% against the ANC’s 31%.
Nationally‚ the DA is currently at 27.08% of ballot papers counted‚ while the EFF is just over five percent.
The Economic Freedom Fighters are coming in at about eight percent in Limpopo‚ its leader Julius Malema’s home province‚ as well as in Gauteng.
The DA’s strongholds so far are the Western Cape where it is leading with 70% of votes counted. It also has over 40 percent in Limpopo and Northern Cape.
Leading up to the 2016 Local Government Elections‚ there were over 26 million voters on the national voters’ roll who were expected to fill out ballot papers at the country’s 22‚612 voting stations.
Wet and windy weather conditions in many parts of the country‚ especially in the Eastern Cape‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ Free State and parts of the Northern Cape‚ affected voting. At least 30 tents were reportedly significantly affected by gale force winds.
Over 75‚000 police members were deployed countrywide to ensure a safe vote.
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With nearly 25‚000 votes counted from Wednesday’s local government elections‚ new contenders the Economic Freedom Fighters have started to feature — although the African National Congress is dominant so far.
“It’s early days but trust me‚ it’s gonna be epic epic. Stay tuned‚ watch democracy in action. Great times to be alive‚” ANC’s elections guru and sports minister Fikile Mbabula tweeted.
An NSIR crew is currently searching the area near Pollok beach following unconfirmed reports of a windsurfer in distress.
A boat is currently out in the water despite the wind, rain and poor visibility.
No one had been reported missing and the local windsurfing club is unaware of anybody out in the water.
Emergency services are, however, trying to determine who owns three cars currently parked in nearby parking lots to determine if one of the cars could belong to the windsurfer.
The NSRI boat is currently running with the wind to see if they can locate the windsurfer.
NSRI station commander Ian Gray said: “At approximately 5.40pm we received a phone call from a witness at Flat Rocks who said they had been watching a wind surfer.”
The witness said the wind surfer did not appear to come ashore. “We activated our crews and notified the water rescue committee of Port Elizabeth.
“We launched our 7m rescue boat Eikos 4 and proceeded to the general vicinity of the report.
“We also responded by land and we’re backed up by Coastal Water Rescue members.
“The witness described a red sail on a board and said that they had been watching it on and off since about 3pm and they had now lost sight of it in the dark,” Gray said.
Two voters and an ANC staff member died on Wednesday during voting in the local government elections‚ the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said.
Chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya said the two voters were from Ingwe municipality‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ and Struibaai in Western Cape.
“In both incidents it would appear that the deaths were of natural causes‚” he told journalists at the National Results Centre in Pretoria.
An ANC staff member who was working at a voting station in Cape Agulhas has also died. Details on what happened was not immediately available.
Shortly before 5pm‚ the IEC reviewed a report about an alleged shooting near a voting station in ward 26 in the newly created LIM345 municipality‚ which was made up of Malamulele and Vuwani‚ in Limpopo.
However‚ he said no further details or confirmation was available‚ Moepya said.
An election official was also seriously injured in a car accident in Northern Cape.
According to the IEC‚ all voting stations were reported to be open and all logistical challenges which impacted voting earlier in the day had been resolved.
“The Electoral Commission is especially pleased that no significant incidents of unrest or deliberate disruptions to voting have been reported‚” said Moepya.
However‚ worsening weather conditions in some parts of the country‚ including the Eastern Cape‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ the Free State and parts of the Northern Cape‚ continued to present challenges.
He said 30 tents had been affected by gale force winds but after consultation with political parties the temporary voting stations were moved to “permanent structures”.
Voting stations will close at 7pm‚ but Moepya said no one would be turned away. Anyone in the queue by 7pm will be allowed to vote.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is confident it will win at least one metro if all registered voters turn out to cast their ballots in the local government election‚ said the party’s federal executive chairman James Selfe.
“We are in the process of bringing every available DA supporter to vote for the DA and if all those voters come out‚ then we are confident that we will become the government in at least one of those metros with an outright majority‚” Selfe said.
Speaking at the Electoral Commission of SA‘s (IEC’s) operations centre in Tshwane on Wednesday‚ Selfe said he was not impressed with reports of problems at some voting stations.
“There have been reports of presiding officers who didn’t arrive at all due to an accident. I also got a report of intimidation and bad delimitations‚ where a new ward was formed and people were told they weren’t registered‚” he said.
However‚ he acknowledged that these sorts of hiccups were not new and happened during every election.
“The skill is to try and rectify those things as quickly as possible and we are working very closely with the IEC to make sure that it happens‚” he said.
Selfe said any coalitions with opposition parties would be determined by the results of the election and that the DA could not commit before the results were announced.
Politicians who had done their work in the lead-up to the local government election could relax and walk around voting stations with their grannies and wives‚ Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said as he did just that in Limpopo on Wednesday.
He opened the door of a Mercedes-Benz people carrier for his grandmother Sarah and wife Mantwa when they arrived to vote at Mponegele Primary School – which he attended as a child — in his home town of Seshego‚ outside Polokwane.
Wearing a warm red and black EFF jacket‚ jeans and black shoes – but not the EFF’s distinctive red beret – Malema walked on one side of his grandmother‚ who wore a long grey coat‚ holding her right hand.
His wife‚ clad in a short maroon wrap with a fur-like collar and metal clasps‚ her hair pulled back from her face into a ponytail‚ walked arm in arm with the elderly woman‚ on her left side‚ also holding her hand.
“… All of us must go out with our families. Don’t go alone. You know when something is important‚ you take out your family and say: ‘All of us let’s go and do the right thing’. So‚ it’s useless to go alone and then claim that you take this thing seriously. This is a sign of seriousness‚” said Malema.
“If I had a child of 18 years he would be here. Everyone else will be here. So‚ this is my family who are qualified to vote and I came out with them.”
There were about 100 people – many of them elderly — in the queue to vote just a few hours before Malema arrived‚ with two cars of security personnel in tow‚ but the line moved quickly and only a handful remained when he got there.
A small crowd of supporters quickly gathered at the school‚ taking pictures and videos of the Malema family.
A young boy was there with his parents. Speaking Northern Sotho‚ a jovial Malema asked the child who would get his vote. “EFF”‚ he shouted.
Malema later said those who waited until election day to start handing out T-shirts were “scared”. They were “cowards”.
“Those who have done their work are relaxed now. They are walking around voting stations with their grannies‚ not with T-shirts. We are walking around with our grannies and our wives because we are not panicking. We know that we have done our work. We are not political rascals‚” he said.
A chatty Malema met the party’s provincial co-ordinator Jossey Buthane‚ who was wearing the party’s red beret‚ at the voting station‚ talking to him and making jokes with him and the media before proceeding to the voting booth.
He complained that the cardboard booth was exposed and that he felt that people could see his vote. He turned the booth around himself‚ saying he wanted privacy when he voted‚ and asked why it had not been positioned that way to start with. An Electoral Commission (IEC) official told him it was to prevent people taking selfies with their cellphones.
As soon as he had left after making his mark‚ the IEC returned the booth to its original position.
Malema said the EFF had put up a “good fight” in the lead-up to the local government election. It had done the best it could do to win the elections. “… It all ends here. It’s now in the hands of South Africa.”
“It’s the (most) highly contested elections that South Africa has seen. This is the first (local government) election for the EFF. Even if (we) could get one seat‚ we have done very well. From zero to one seat is an achievement‚” he said.
Malema was happy with how the election was proceeding in his home town.
South Africans waited patiently in line to cast their votes at polling stations on Wednesday – an affair that proved rather flirtatious for many on social media.
The hashtag #VotingPickupLines started trending on Twitter‚ as people shared tips on how to strike up a conversation while waiting in the queues.
Here are some of our favourites:
The post Flirty voters strike up queue conversations with #VotingPickupLines appeared first on HeraldLIVE.
ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has described voting as a “wonderful”‚ albeit “painful” process‚ as she remembered the struggle heroes who had not had the chance to exercise their votes.
“We ought to remember them…‚” she said as she cast her vote at the Orlando West Secondary School‚ in Soweto‚ on Wednesday.
“Ivotile imbokodo (the rock has voted)‚” a woman shouted‚ ululating when Madikizela-Mandela dropped her ballot paper into the box.
Madikizela-Mandela‚ the former wife of former president Nelson Mandela‚ was accompanied by ANC Gauteng mayoral candidate Parks Tau‚ ANC Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile‚ hip hop artist AKA and University of the Witwatersrand Student Representative Council president Nompendulo Mkhatshwa.
She urged South Africans to vote and to unite to improve the country’s economy.
“South Africans must choose a government they deserve‚” she said.
Commenting on political killings in KwaZulu-Natal in the run-up to the election‚ Madikizela-Mandela had this to say: “I hope they have ended. There was no reason for the types of violence we’ve seen. It is utter disgrace…. We all feel very bad about it”.
She said she had observed that “everything is going well” in the local government elections.
“I am hoping‚ difficult as times are‚ we will see good results and the people will get the government they deserve. After all‚ municipalities are machineries of the state to deliver‚” she said.
She was whisked in a blue light convoy after stopping to hug and kiss the veterans who were present at the voting station to greet her.
– TMG Digital
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The war of words between President Jacob Zuma and his political rivals — and even the bragging rights over who filled up the bigger stadium on the campaign trail — seemed utterly trivial as Number 1 cast his vote in Nkandla on Wednesday.
It was windy and dusty‚ but Zuma declined an offer to skip the queue and‚ instead‚ stood in line with the other citizens of Ward 14. It took about an hour for him to move from the front gate of the Ntolwane Primary School‚ have his ID checked‚ join a second queue inside the quad and‚ finally‚ make his way into a classroom to drop his ballot papers into the awaiting box.
And from the moment he went through that rusty gate he smiled broadly‚ chatted freely and laughed frequently — at one point joking with an election official‚ saying as she verified his ID and looked at his now-outdated photo: “That’s me. You can see that it’s me.”
Perhaps Zuma was buoyed by the fact that‚ outside the gates‚ the number of yellow ANC shirts worn inside the party’s tent far outweighed those of the IFP supporters in the tent right across the gravel road. Perhaps he was on a high from the cheering‚ clapping and chanting that welcomed him and his five-car convoy.
Or‚ perhaps‚ he was merely filled with confidence that the ANC would retain Ward 14 and snatch the Nkandla municipality out of the controlling hands of the IFP. With the NFP not in the equation‚ surely he knew the municipality was up for grabs.
“I will wake up in the municipality of the ANC. I absolutely do‚” Zuma said during an inpromptu press conference. “That’s what we’ve been working for. I’m satisfied and I voted correctly.”
What did he mean by “voted correctly“‚ a journalist asked.
“I voted for the ANC. That’s my organisation‚ that I lead‚” said Zuma.
He said it felt “very good” to queue instead of being bumped to the front.
“When we talk about being part of the people‚ that’s what it means to be with them. I just felt good that I was among the people I know best. I am a citizen in the first instance. The presidency comes afterwards. I belong here. I had time to chat with a number of people I know‚” he said.
One of those people was 101-year-old Sizeni Mbambo. The gogo‚ who had already cast her vote‚ walked over to Zuma in the queue and‚ with moves that belied her age‚ danced and celebrated with him.
“I was seen by an old lady of the village who knows me. She really danced‚ happy that she’s able to vote. There were citizens who couldn’t vote for many years…who have the right to vote. She knows exactly what it means. That’s why she’s here‚ that’s why she’s excited‚” he said.
– TMG Digital
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Have you tried: Farking?