Power failure adds to election gloom in Marikana

Voting station resumed business when lights returned after 10pm

There was a low voter turn out in most polling stations around Marikana, North West, on Monday.
There was a low voter turn out in most polling stations around Marikana, North West, on Monday.
Image: Lindile Sifile

IEC officials in Marikana, North West, were forced to stop working for nearly two hours on Monday night as their station was plunged into darkness.

The voting station at Marikana Combined School, which only pulled in about 1,300 voters by the end of business, lost its power supply around 8.40pm while the last voters were still in the queue waiting to make their mark ahead of the 9pm deadline.

“We immediately called the IEC provincial office in Rustenburg and they promised to bring lights. There was little that we could do as it was dark. The voters were patient and they waited with us in the dark,” said presiding officer Aubrey Koloko on Tuesday morning.

Power was restored after 10pm and Koloko and his team proceeded to allow voting to continue until 10.40pm.

“We didn’t panic much but it was disturbing that there was no backup for such incidents. The turnout was very poor but I’m glad that we could assist the people that took time to come and vote,” said Koloko.

By 11am on Tuesday, the DA was leading with 45,79% votes followed by the ANC at 23,1% and VF Plus at 12,94%.

Marikana was one of the worst areas affected by low voter turnout on Monday, with as little as about 1,000 people showing up to cast their votes at each of the five voting stations in the area. The five stations on average each had  5,000 registered voters.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.