The Western Cape received its fair share of difficulties on Monday at a time when the public was gearing up to head out to the polls. Power outages and bad weather conditions stood at the forefront of the low voter turnout at stations.
In a news broadcast, eNCA explained that there are about 3.1 million registered voters in the province. However, by 2pm on Monday, just over 500 000 cast their vote.
Western Cape IEC officer Michael Hendrickse said there were seven incidents of load shedding reported. “This is not limited to a station per se but an area which the station has been located,” he expressed.
He went on to cite two reports of power cuts which both Eskom and the City of Cape Town were looking into. In Ward 88 in Cape Town there was no electricity in the voting station, while cable theft in Ward 39 affected the area, TimesLive reports.
In addition, 19 of the province’s 1,577 voting stations did not open on time due to rain in the city as the commission first had to ensure the safety of the structures, Hendrickse maintains.
When questioned about a shortage of ballot papers, the IEC officer said: “We also received complaints of not enough ballot papers. We can assure the public there were enough ballot papers at all our stations. We were at a stage doing a process where we looked at the number of ballot papers based on the voters’ roll.”
He added to this low voter discussion by saying: “This could be attributed also to the voter simply saying that they don’t want to vote, because it is ultimately up to the voter to decide.”
And despite 26.2 million registered voters, the IEC highlighted that the voter turnout was at 8 million by 5pm while giving an update. This is believed to possibly be the lowest voter turnout.