DEMOCRATIC Alliance (DA) mayoral candidate Athol Trollip had a scare on Wednesday morning when election officials could not find his name on the voters roll.
“They could not find my name on the voters roll for a while … I was panicking. It was really a downer,” Trollip said, outside a polling station in Westbourne Oval in Central, Port Elizabeth.
Election officials eventually found his name and allowed him to vote.
Speaking to journalists after casting his vote, Trollip said the DA was confident of getting 50% plus one, which would give the party a majority in the in the 120-seat Nelson Mandela Bay council. Voter turnout would be crucial, he said.
There was concern earlier that some voters would fail to turn up due to the cold and wet weather on Wednesday.
However, at most voting stations visited by BDlive earlier on Wednesday there were long and winding queues, despite the unfavourable weather conditions.
“People still turned up under difficult weather conditions … this is a historic vote and it is about change,” said Trollip.
Nelson Mandela Bay metro — which has a population of about 1.2-million and incorporates Port Elizabeth, Despatch and Uitenhage — is set to be the most hotly contested of the key local government battlefields.
Some analysts believe the DA has a good chance of unseating the ANC, perhaps as part of a coalition. In the 2011 local government elections, the ANC won with 51.9% against the DA’s 40.1%.
Earlier, ANC mayoral candidate Danny Jordaan cast his vote in Summerstrand. Jordaan said the party was confident of getting “55% or more of the vote”.
“Our challenge for the day is to bring out all our supporters. If we have a high voter turnout, we will be home and dry,” said Jordaan.