| Western Cape IEC boss ‘not happy’ with election day hiccups

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  • IEC Western Cape officer Michael Hendrickse said he was not happy with how the elections progressed on Monday.
  • The municipal elections on Monday was marred by delays and inclement weather.  
  • As of Monday evening the latest voter turnout was 35.9%.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) Western Cape officer Michael Hendrickse has expressed his disappointment at how the municipal elections unfolded in the province on Monday.

Hendrickse said he was “not happy” with how the elections played out throughout the day. 

“Obviously I’m not happy with all that has gone on with our voting through the course of the day and with the weather and incidents of delays. I am relatively satisfied that we are able to provide this opportunity in this circumstances. There will always be room for improvement. We have to look at the particular cases why voters are turned away,” he said.

Elections 2021 Results: See the battle for your municipality unfold with our special elections map

Hendrickse said that after the elections, the IEC would be looking into how they managed the voters’ roll. 

He said:

Remember this is the first time we have used our voter management devices so there will be teething problems, but we will learn from this.

The municipal elections on Monday saw delays, and voters being turned away, despite the IEC saying that voters could vote once they were in the queue before voting stations closed at 21:00. 

On Monday night, reports had still emerged of residents standing in long, snaking queues at various venues.

Fed up residents told News24 that the elderly, in particular, had had to brave a long wait in the cold and wet weather to cast their vote.

Various areas across the metro including Pinelands, Hout Bay and Wynberg reported delays and long waiting times. Some voters were either turned away for not being on the voters roll or due to the voter management system not working. 

One resident, Fouzia Abrahams, said some families wanting to cast their votes at the College of Cape Town Crawford campus were turned away. 

She said:

I usually vote at and I’m registered to go to College of Cape Town Crawford campus, but was told to go to Belgravia High. Meanwhile, Crawford campus is empty and Belgravia was so full. Reason for the different location was because of Covid, which makes no sense considering how full the high school was and how empty the campus was. I ended up waiting for an hour before I could vote.

Abrahams added many disgruntled residents ended up not voting.

Another resident, Angie Richardson, said the long queues forced her to wait hours. 

“I tried to come back three times to come vote, but the queues are not moving. My ward is Sun Valley; my husband left to try, his fourth attempt. The queues are long and I am so angry that I won’t be able to cast my vote. There are old people standing in the rain unable to make [their] mark,” she said. 

READ | Bad weather and power outages affected Cape Town voter turnout – IEC

With vote counting well under way in the province  and results slowly trickling in from smaller voting districts, the IEC in the province said results should be available from Tuesday.

Stay updated with News24’s latest coverage, opinion and analysis of Elections 2021. Check out results from the previous municipal elections.

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