The IEC has had an up-and-down time of things on Wednesday. Election Day has thrown up a few curveballs across the country, but there were a group of voting stations that simply failed to get out of the starting blocks.
As of 18:00 on Wednesday, five centres have yet to open their doors. It follows a day where everything from the indelible ink to the number of available ballot papers has obstructed some citizens from registering their votes.
In their most-recent media briefing, the IEC sheepishly revealed that three voting stations in KwaZulu-Natal and two more in the Eastern Cape have not yet opened, almost 12 hours after the polls officially welcomed voters.
Elections 2019: Which voting stations have not opened yet?
The Commission has blamed “ongoing community unrest” for derailing election operations in these “isolated areas”. Here are the five locations where polling stations simply never got going:
- One voting station in Buffalo City.
- One in Ntabankulu.
- Three voting stations in Inkosi Langalibalele municipality in the uThukela District (Escort) remain closed.
Will voting hours be extended?
The IEC has previously said that voting hours can be extended at certain stations if people remain in the queue by the 21:00 cut-off. But the decision is ultimately at the discretion of each venue.
Just four hours to go until voting stations close for #XseDay on #SAElections2019. Those voters who may have been waiting for the initial rush to pass are urged to urgently make their way to voting stations to ensure that they vote before stations close at 9pm. pic.twitter.com/yEYXm8rLKf
— IEC South Africa (@IECSouthAfrica) May 8, 2019
They also addressed the issue of Vuwani, after the Limpopo town experienced several protests and violent flare-ups. Despite the disruption, four stations have been re-opened for the evening:
“Efforts to resolve these and provide voters in these areas with an opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote are continuing and will continue for as long as is necessary.”
“Four voting stations in Vuwani, Limpopo which had earlier opened were also forced to close for a period during the course of the day due to unrest and safety concerns. However, these have all now re-opened.”