Voting stations across the country have opened at 7am with millions of South Africans expected to cast their votes in what has been described as the most hotly contested municipal poll since 1994.
There are more than 26 million registered voters on the national voters’ roll.
President Jacob Zuma declared 3 August 2016 a public holiday to enable all eligible voters the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote.
President Zuma has urged all registered voters, especially the youth, to go out and cast their ballots.
He is expected to cast his vote this morning in his hometown of Nkandla.
There are more than 200 political parties and over 61 000 candidates participating in the country’s fifth Municipal Elections.
Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) Chairperson Glen Mashinini on Tuesday evening said the commission is satisfied that it has done everything in its power to prepare for the 2016 Local Government Elections.
“The Electoral Commission is confident that all preparations are in place for a free, fair and peaceful 2016 Municipal Election. All that remains is for all 26.3 million registered voters to come out and cast their votes tomorrow,” said Mashinini.
A total of 22 612 voting stations are expected to open for voting at 7am and close at 7pm. However, no voter will be turned away and voters who are at voting stations at 7pm but have not yet had an opportunity to vote will be allowed to cast their ballots.
“Voters are reminded that each ballot paper must be stamped on the reverse and unstamped ballots will not be counted.”
Voters are also reminded that it is prohibited to take a photograph of their marked ballot paper.
“This is essential to protect the secrecy and integrity of their vote and the process. We encourage voters to rather take a picture of their marked thumb to show they have voted and to post these on social media with the hashtag #ivoted to encourage further participation,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za
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