KZN had a 36% voter turnout, says IEC as counting is completed

Suthentira Govender Senior reporter
Ministers have assured SA that next week's elections will be free and safe. File photo.
Ministers have assured SA that next week's elections will be free and safe. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

KwaZulu-Natal recorded a 36% voter turnout in Monday’s local government elections.

The Electoral Commission (IEC) said on Tuesday that counting at voting stations had been completed and officials have started capturing and auditing the results.

“There are 13,943 results the commission is expecting, including all wards, local municipalities and district municipalities.

“We have received a full set of results in three of the province’s small municipalities, which are Mooi Mpofana municipality with 27 voting districts, eNdumeni municipality with 24 voting districts and eMadlangeni municipality with 34 voting districts.

“These results have all been captured, However, they will not be immediately available because they have to go through the auditing process which is under way.”

The commission said a few sites are experiencing connectivity issues relating to power outages or network connectivity.

“The affected sites are AbaQulusi municipality in Vryheid and uMdoni municipality in Scottsburg.

“However, when offices experience such, they are able to relocate to nearby sites that are not experiencing these difficulties and commence capturing the results.”

The IEC said in the eThekwini municipality, which is the largest in the province, “area managers are transporting from voting stations to the Moses Mabhida Stadium results capturing site".

“Commission staff are clearing some exceptions on the system. The system has a built-in percentage parameter, where anything above that set parameter is treated as an exception. We then need to double-check if that parameter is correct. If it is correct the exception is cleared,” said the IEC.

The commission said MEC 7 cases — a municipal election form used by the IEC when voters who prove they have registered fill out a form out so they can vote — also had set parameters.

“If they exceed the set parameter, before that exception is cleared the office has to manually view the MEC 7 lists before confirming the results.

“There is also a set parameter percentage on the voter turnout at a voting station. We do not expect a 100% turnout at a voting station. However, if we do have a 100% turnout, it could be because of MEC 7 cases. That also needs to be confirmed before that result is finalised.”

The commission said counting had to moved to other sites at certain voting stations, including at Mkhambathini  in Camperdown.

“We had to request authorisation from the commission because of volatility in the community to relocate the count to the MEO office.

“Police had to guarantee they would secure the material, voting station officers and police officers who were stationed in that area.

“However, the police could not guarantee this because of the terrain, poor lighting in the area and the tensions in the community.

“Voting station staff, party agents and ballot boxes were escorted to the MEO office to administer the count.”

The IEC said counting at eThekwini College voting station in Durban also had to be moved to another site.

“Some members of the community interfered with the voting process, alleging they updated their registration details during the registration weekend, but some of their names do not appear on the voters' roll.

“There were just over 70,000 people who were MEC 7 cases in that voting station.

“The community alleged that more than 400 people who had been administered manually during the registration weekend were left out and were not on the roll. The community disrupted the voting process and confiscated the ballot box from the voting station for about 10 minutes.

“The police were reinforced, the ballot box was secured and the crowd was dispersed. In consultation with the political party liaison committee, a resolution was taken to request the commission’s authorisation to move the counting process from the voting stations to the eThekwini metro capturing site.

“These ballots will be counted in the presence of the party liaison committee to include a process of verification whether the number of ballots in the ballot box reconcile with the numbers that have been crossed off and marked as voted on the voters' roll in the voting station. The matter is under investigation by the police.

"From the information drawn from the voter-management device when voting stations were closed, we are sitting with a 1,913,309 voter turnout.

“From those administered through MEC 7s we were sitting at 50,403 at the time of reporting. We can therefore confirm 36% voter turnout in these elections and 3.9% MEC 7s.”

Political parties had between Tuesday and Wednesday to lodge their objections.

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