2011 South African Local Government Elections latest Update

Posted on :

19 May, 2011

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Jobs in South Africa Blog

The Content of this post will be updated from time to time, feel free to add your own comments as we monitor the events

1148: There were no major hiccups at voting stations in Gauteng, but isolated instances of technical problems, said electoral officer Sy Mamabolo.

The non-functioning of scanner machines known as zip-zips was reported on the West Rand, he said.

It had slowed down the voting process, but had not caused major problems.

Mamabolo said most voting station opened at 7am or soon thereafter.

There were no disruptions reported in security hotspots like Zandspruit and Diepsloot.

1145: A festive atmosphere prevailed at two Khayelitsha voting stations on Wednesday as South Africans made their mark in the country’s fourth local government elections.

Music and sirens blared as residents encouraged each other to come out and vote.

About 200 people stood at one mobile station, while in Harare, another 50 people stood in another queue.

1130: President Jacob Zuma urged people to continue participating in local government decision-making even after the election as he arrived to cast his vote in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, on Wednesday.

“Voters should not only vote but participate in meetings [afterwards],” Zuma said as he arrived.

The ward in which he votes is controlled by the Inkatha Freedom Party, and Zuma, who is also the president of the ANC, said he was optimistic that his party would take the ward.

He said the reason he was voting was because he wanted to see change.

He said he would like to see the roads improved and for electricity to cover all areas.

He said that once the election was over, people should carry on taking part by participating in council meetings.

People were happy to see him and he greeted them as he made his way through to cast his vote.

“Voters should not only vote but participate in meetings…,” he said.

2011 South African Local Government Elections latest Update

1130: The polling station at the Johannesburg Muslim School in Fordsburg was quiet by 11am. The presiding officer said only 200 people had voted by 10am.

An IEC sign had been placed on a school mural that read: “200 years ago Islam broke free”.

The polling station’s entrance sign was next to another school sign reading: “None of you should stand and drink”.

A beggar walking past the entrance went straight to a water tap and showed no interest in the voting.

1121: Scores of police officers converged on a voting station near Grootvlei, south of Bloemfontein, on Wednesday morning, one area where locals are unhappy with service delivery.

The voting process in Phase 7 Tuckshop was going smoothly.

Police forensic investigators were at the scene where the original voting station tent was burnt down during the night. A new tent was erected for voters early on Wednesday.

A small group of residents were in discussions with police at the scene. One of the locals displayed a placard with the words: “We always vote but no service delivery. Fifteen years without formalisation.”

Police in riot gear stood between residents and the voting station. Police spokesman Colonel Sam Makhele said the situation was under control.

1116: A voting station in Nellmapius, Pretoria, had one ID scanner for about 7000 voters, resulting in a queue about a kilometre long on Wednesday morning.

Presiding officer at the Nellmapius Primary School Tony Sibayi said it was a struggle to deal with such a big voting area with only one ID scanner.

The Independent Electoral Commission had told Sibayi to continue without scanning some voters’ identity documents. This meant election officers had to individually check the names against the voters’ roll.

As a result of the large roll, some people had started queuing at 3am.

Some people complained about the elderly not having made use of special votes earlier in the week.

“They come in taxis and push into the lines,” said 40 year-old Susan Jafta.

“They should have cast their votes earlier.”

1115: Trending on Twitter #lge2011 #sapolls #vote #Helen Zille #COPE

1101: A Pakistani national living in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, watched enviously on Wednesday morning as his fellow residents voted in local government elections.

“I wish I was a South African because people here can vote and this is one of the most important things we don’t have in Pakistan,” Mohammed Hassan, 32, said.

“I hope other countries will learn from South Africa and run their countries in a democratic way.”

He said he had been living in Extension 5 for seven years. He ran a shop in the area with his brothers, and it had been the target of armed robberies three times since he arrived. He hoped through the elections, the government would make the area safer.

The atmosphere at the voting station in Tangani, Extension 5 was jovial as people socialised with friends after casting their votes.

Several hundred people stood in the queue and joked around as they waited their turn.

2011 South African Local Government Elections latest Update

1047: KwaZulu-Natal had moved from a violent past to become a model province characterised by development, former premier Sbu Ndebele after casting his vote near Wartburg, outside Pietermaritzburg, at 9.30am on Wednesday.

He was accompanied by his wife, Zama, who was on clutches following a nasty slip.

“Everyone is now looking at the province in terms of how you can deal with the past and also foster reconciliation and development, the province is a reflection of the maturity of our democracy”, said Ndebele.

He cautioned against unrealistic expectations of the government and criticism that a lot of promises were made by politicians and government.

“When a promise is made, it is not about the past, but about the future. The future is unpredictable and people should be mindful of that before criticising government. Delivery is a process.”

Ndebele, who is Transport Minister, said he expected a huge turnout in the ward, which he said was a model of non-racialism and where everyone was in regular contact with one other.

1046: Leigh Hermon via Facebook: Ward 12 in the Makana Municipality (Grahamstown) had a few issues this morning such as no ballot papers. But it all seems to be working just fine right about now. I was there for 5 mins – 4 of which I spent at the voting booth deciding who to cote for. Very impressed with the IEC!

10:45 Former heavyweight boxer Jimmy Abbott returned from overseas commitments as an evangelist to vote in the municipal elections in his home town of Heidelberg on Wednesday.

Abbott, who arrived at the town hall at 5.45am on Wednesday morning, was the first voter in the line at the busiest polling station in Heidelberg.

“I’m part of the ministry now and I travel all around the world, but I felt it was very important for me to be here today.”

A giant of a man, Abbott sat in a chair in the cold as he waited for the polling stations to open.

It was only his second time voting at an election. On the last occasion he had arrived at 3am to make his mark.

“I never thought voting was that important, but now I know it is. I think my vote makes a real difference, and that’s why I’m here. When you vote you’re giving someone the authority to act on your behalf, and that person becomes your voice.”

1029: The Independent Electoral Commission is quite satisfied with the relatively smooth start to the municipal election in the Western Cape on Wednesday morning, provincial chief electoral officer Courtney Sampson said.

“The early indications from outside are that people are showing interest in this election and that they are making use of the opportunity to come and vote,” said Sampson.

All voting stations in the province were functioning well, however there were a few problems with the scanners at some stations.

“But that is not a major issue. The scanner is not an important function, it’s just there to help us check through the Voters’ Roll if it’s necessary.”

1022: The ANC and COPE were locked in a musical battle at the Blomnek polling station near the Karoo village of De Rust, with each party trying to outdo the other in dance and song.

A song with the words “who is the bigot” was played with the same tune used in the controversial struggle chant containing the lyrics “shoot the boer”, popularised by ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

The lyrics are the subject of a hate speech case against Malema at the Equality Court in Johannesburg.

The people playing the music laughed when asked the name of the artist performing the song.

Yet it was not the parties who were drawing the most attention but rather the DA candidate in the area.

“He is a good man,” said local shopowner Basie Coetzee.

“He is quite efficient and he gets things done, and he lives in the Blomnek area.”

1021: Long queues formed outside the Boitumelo voting station in Galeshewe, in Kimberley, on Wednesday.

According to Independent Electoral Commission presiding officer, Boitumelo Monyena about 175 voters had already cast their votes, with more than 2 700 expected throughout the day.

A large number of elderly voters were among those wanting to cast their vote.

Antony Puseletso, 56, said the high rate of unemployment and lack of proper housing had made him come out to vote.

Unemployment seemed to be the main issue among many of the voters in the queue.

Melanie Heyns, 20, said she left school in 2008 and struggled to find work in Kimberley.

1015: At least 11 voters were turned away from the Meyerton town hall polling station in the Midvaal on Wednesday as they were registered to vote.

“Eleven people had no registration. They didn’t know they had to,” said an electoral official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Midvaal is an area that the African National Congress (ANC) hopes to snatch from the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the local government elections.

The parties had their tents pitched next to each other outside the polling station when voters trickled in after voting started.

“By voting you can stop becoming ‘no-one’,” said Chris and Maggie Niemann, playing on the translation of their surname to English.

0954: Democratic Alliance mayoral candidate for Cape Town Patricia de Lille declined on Wednesday to talk about the possibility of the ANC winning the city in the local government poll.

“I will not enter into speculation (about losing). I will deal with it when we get there,” she said after casting her vote at the Pinelands town hall shortly after 9am.

Dressed in a blue casual suit and surrounded by party officials and media, De Lille said she was tired, and that it was now time for the voters to speak.

“I’ve put in my best, today it’s time for the voters to speak. The future of the city is in their hands. I hope they make the right choice.”

0953: A temporary voting station near Grootvlei Prison, south of Bloemfontein, burnt down overnight, Free State police said.

No injuries were reported, no arrests made and police were investigating a case of malicious damage to property, police spokesman Sam Makhele said.

A new tent was erected for voters early on Wednesday. An election official said voting started a little late but was running smoothly.

0949: Mhlaba Memela, Sowetan: In the Estcourt area of Kwazulu-Natal, in Wembezi Section C, there’ve been some confrontations and antagonism mainly between supporters of the IFP and supporters of the breakaway NFP. The area is a volatile one and has seen violence in the past but this morning, Mhlaba reports, the tension seem to be mainly between the IFP and the NFP rather than old poll foes, the IFP and ANC.

An altercation over an old man who both parties claimed as one of their voters saw extra police being called in to calm things down. Tension also rose when NFP supporters started playing loud music near the voting station at Ezambkuthula Primary school but they were eventually persuaded by local community leaders to turn it down.

0948: All was quiet for voting in Tafelsig, Cape Town, on Wednesday following clashes earlier this week over attempts by a “backyarders'” association to occupy a sports field.

An electoral official told Sapa that one of stations, at Portland High School, was among the busiest in the area, which is part of Mitchells Plain.

People describing themselves as members of the Mitchells Plain Backyarders’ Association decided to pitch tents on the Swartklip Sports Field.

Police removed them, but they returned, and were removed again. Photographs taken show policemen with riot gear such as shields and water cannons trying to move people back.

0931: The Fourways High School voting station was “totally disorganised” and opened 30 minutes late on Wednesday, a voter said.

“There was no organisation at all and it took over two-and-a-half hours for me to cast my vote,” said Christine Jones.

The school gates opened at 7am to let people in, but the voting station door opened at 7.30am.

She said there were two queues, one for the elderly, disabled and pregnant women, and the other for ordinary citizens.

Hundreds of people snaked through the school grounds and onto the road.

“The electoral officers were only processing the people in the disability line and totally forgot about us,” said Jones.

To add to the problem, the station had only one hand-held device to issue stickers that were placed on identity documents after voting.

An hour into voting it had run out of paper.

0930: Voters at a polling station in Toekomsrus, Oudtshoorn, were in a celebratory mood on Wednesday, with loud music playing as they arrived to cast their ballots.

A song with the same tune as the struggle song containing the lyrics “dubula ibhunu” (shoot the boer), popularised by ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, played as people streamed in.

The struggle song’s lyrics are the subject of a hate speech case against Malema at the Equality Court in Johannesburg.

The words “who is the bigot” were played in the reworked version.

The people playing the music laughed when asked the name of the artist performing the song.

Women from the community, which includes around 4000 desperately poor families, carried babies on their backs as they walked up to the polling station.

0926: Young and old enthusiastically made their way to the polling station at Orlando West High School in Soweto for the local government elections on Wednesday morning.

Expected to vote there around 11am was ANC struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The school was situated in Vilakazi Street, where South Africa’s first democratically-elected president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu once lived.

Many came early when the polls opened at 7am to make their mark. Some morning joggers made a detour at the school to cast their vote before resuming their run.

“There is quite an interest on these elections,” said the school principal, who identified himself as Mr Molapo, and also the poll’s presiding officer.

0924: Diepsloot voters expressed their hope of change in their community while they stood in line to make their mark in Wednesday’s local government elections.

“I am standing here even if I can stand here the whole day to cast my vote because I need an RDP house,” said Catherine Lengwati, who was among about 1000 people standing in three queues at Diepsloot Combined School in Diepsloot Extension Six.

“My kids do not have proper facilities to play on and I hope my vote will change all that.”

Lengwati, who is unemployed and lives with her four children and husband in a shack, also said crime was a problem.

“I wish that the post-election period will be different and much better.”

0923: Young and old enthusiastically made their way to the polling station at Orlando West High School in Soweto for the local government elections on Wednesday morning.

Expected to vote there around 11AM was ANC struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

The school was situated in Vilakazi Street, where South Africa’s first democratically-elected president Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu once lived.

0919: Via Twitter: @SAPresident #SApolls I will vote in Nkandla at 11am. Always a liberating experience! #LGE2011

0918: Local government elections in the North West got off smoothly on Wednesday, with no incidents reported, police said.

“We have positively embarked on an incident-free election, with all our forces on the ground, escorting ballot papers and securing polling stations,” said Brigadier Thulani Ngubane.

The elections were being monitored by the SA National Defence Force, the Independent Electoral Commission, the departments of transport and public safety, health, local government and traditional affairs (which includes the National Disaster Management Centre), and Justice, the State Security Agency and the SA Revenue Service.

A total of 8000 people had been deployed.

0912: Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota cast his vote at the Oranje Meisies School in Bloemfontein just after 8.30am on Wednesday.

A jubilant-looking Lekota was ushered to the front of the queue by polling station officials after asking the other patient voters if they minded him being given priority.

Most of the voters were cheerful and all told him to go ahead.

2011 South African Local Government Elections latest Update

Shaking hands with those in the queue, he exchanged friendly banter with some of the people.

“It’s probably no secret who you’re going to vote for,” Ingwalde Hayden said to Lekota.

“Are you voting for the same party we are voting for?” she asked him.

To which Lekota laughingly replied, “I hope so.”

0901: There was good cheer between ANC and DA supporters at the ward 34 polling station in Bethelsdorp on the outskirts of the Port Elizabeth town centre on Wednesday.

They showed none of the tension of a bitter local government election battle between the two parties for control of the Nelson Mandela Bay metro.

“I support Helen of course,” said Katie Oortman, 55, before ripping open her coat to reveal a bright blue Democratic Alliance (DA) T-shirt and pledging her life-long support to DA leader Helen Zille.

“This is DA territory. We own this ward, but we need to take control of the municipality to make the changes we need to make.

“I mean, look at the state of the roads,” she said, pointing to a broken pavement and a pothole in the road in front of her.

Edward Quincy, 45, who stood beside Oortman, lifted his jersey to reveal a T-shirt with an image of a grinning President Jacob Zuba.

“You see who I support. I support the ANC. It’s a disease. It’s in my veins.

“And you will see today, we are going to make inroads into ward 34.”

0855: Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi cast his vote at Laerskool Pietersburg-Oos, in Polokwane, on Wednesday.

Voting got off to a lively start at with people gathering from around 6.15am, but had slowed down by 8.30am.

There were reports of ballot papers not being stamped at other wards in the area.

Voters at Tom Naude School complained of having to wait in the rain because of slow queues, while there were complaints of unstamped ballot papers at Noord School.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane arrived just after 8.30am to cast his vote.

0854: A DA councillor was intimidated, allegedly by ANC Youth League members, at a voting station in Hartebeespoort, North West.

Erna Rossouw said league members told her to leave the voting location in Refentswe, a low-cost housing settlement.

“Members of the Youth League started singing the controversial ‘Kill the Farmers’ and told me I would not be safe in this location on election day. They also threatened my family,” she said.

“However, the IEC official and police intervened and I will not be intimidated.”

Rossouw alleged ANCYL members threatened her two weeks ago when she visited voters in Refentswe.

“At the moment the situation is sensitive at this voting station, but I will not be intimidated and there is a substantial police presence here.”

Meanwhile voting in the Madibeng municipal area in the North West province, which includes Hartbeespoort and Brits, was still slow on Wednesday morning, although queues at voting stations were slowly getting longer.

Independent Electoral Commission officer Tumelontle Thiba said no incidents had been reported in these areas.

An earlier delay, caused by disgruntled voters at the Taung voting station in the North West, was resolved and voting was back on track, she said.

0851: Enthusiasm marked the start of voting in the local poll in areas around Pretoria on Wednesday.

At the Willow Methodist Church, one of the voting districts in the Democratic Alliance-controlled Ward 85 in the east of Pretoria, long queues had already formed when the polling booths opened at 7am.

Presiding officer Heidi Bezuidenhout said people started queuing from as early as 5.30am.

“We are very busy. We have not experienced logistical problems so far and trust that we will have enough ballot papers,” she said.

The voting station opened three streams to accommodate voters, so that they would not have to stand in one long queue, but many voters had already stood in queues for an hour or longer by 8am.

Willem Jansen van Rensburg said although he had waited in line for close to an hour, he felt it was important to cast his ballot so that he could help to get the right candidate in place.

Pensioners Mokubung Nkomo and Sylvia Boshoff complained that the “old people’s queue” was moving even slower than the others, but nevertheless waited patiently to cast their ballots.

“It’s your civic duty to vote,” Nkomo said.

“You’ve got to vote for your country. It’s terribly important, especially in times like these, otherwise it’s no good you complain,” Boshoff said.

The church community added a small touch of festivity to voting day by serving drinks to weary voters.

At the Bakenkop primary school polling station in Ward 69 in Centurion, long queues had already formed when the polls opened at 7am, with more voters constantly arriving.

“It’s definitely busier here now than in the 2009 general election,” voter Johan Claassen said.

In Rooihuiskraal, Independent Electoral Commission officials at the Uitsig Hoerskool polling booth turned people away and sent them to an open veld where more than 50 people are waiting for a polling booth to be erected in order to vote.

Meanwhile, voters were warned to turn over their ballot papers before voting to make sure that they were stamped, as ballot papers with no stamp on the back would be destroyed.

0849: Voting was off to a busy start in the Upington area with queues moving steadily in Progress, Rosedale and Pabapaballelo.

People were up early as some still needed to get to work. Others arrived early in the hope that the queues would not be too long so they could still enjoy the public holiday.

There was a festive atmosphere among the voters at Pabapaballelo.

Two friends, Thabita Claaste and Excentea Liholo, arrived together at the Pabapaballelo Community Centre.

They wore clothing showing their support for different political parties — one in ANC attire and the other in Congress of the People (Cope) colours.

They were both very excited to vote. Claaste said she wanted to vote for Cope regardless of whether they won or lost.

Liholo, on the other hand, was a strong ANC supporter.

“We are still friends,” said Claaste. “After voting, we are going together to a barbeque.”

Most voting stations in the Upington area were up and running smoothly.

0842: There was extra vigilance on Wednesday morning at Ulundi’s B south voting station where an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) official was caught rigging the elections in 2009.

All party agents interviewed on Tuesday morning said they were being extra watchful during today’s local government elections to prevent what happened during the 2009 general elections.

In 2009, Sindisiwe Mncube, an Ulundi IEC official, became the first South African since the 1994 democratic elections to be convicted of electoral fraud.

She was found with ballot papers marked in favour of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) before the official opening time of the voting station where she was employed as a presiding officer.

Sbongile Cindi, the African National Congress (ANC) party agent who caught Mncube, said she would never forget what happened in 2009.

“I did not believe what I saw. The incident was embarrassing. I am happy that every one is making sure that it does not happen again,” she said.

She said Mncube was recently released after serving a one year sentence and was back at her job in the Zululand district municipality.

Sapa was unable to immediately verify Cindi’s claim.

0840: A Limpopo voting station had to be relocated after a storeroom at a school which was to be used was set alight overnight, police said on Wednesday.

The storeroom at Ngwana Ngwato High School at Makgane Village in Sekhukhune was set alight on Tuesday night, police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

The voting station was moved to a nearby tribal office.

“The voting process is proceeding smoothly.” A case of arson was opened.

0834: Voting was delayed in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, on Wednesday, due to a dispute over whether the elderly should move to the front of the queue at Hillside Primary School.

About 300 people joined the queue to vote in one of Cape Town’s most hotly contested areas.

A presiding officer resolved the problem after pointing out to voters that people over 60 were allowed to move to the front of the line, as per Independent Electoral Commission provisions.

0832: Voting got off to a slow start in the eastern Free State town of Ficksburg on Wednesday.

Only a handful of voters were in sight at a few voting stations.

At the Meqheleng Primary School, only eight voters were standing in line and at the Ficksburg Primary School, mostly business people had gathered.

They wanted to vote quickly and head off to open their businesses.

The town has been plagued by violent service delivery protests in recent months, the latest being on May 13.

Police had to use rubber bullets to disperse about 200 disgruntled residents, who had burnt tyres and blockaded roads.

0830: Cyclist David Dhlamini pedalled 12 kilometres through the mist and wet that is iconic to the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands on Wednesday to vote in Howick rather than the Mpophomeni township where he lives.

While he hoped his vote would lead to better job opportunities and a more accountable local government, he wanted a bit more privacy on voting day.

“Most people here want to know who you are voting for,” he said pointing back to where he had cycled from.

“They have been offering ANC T-shirts [in recent days] and if you refuse to take one they want to know why.”

Dhlamini said he was fed-up with local authorities that did not act on people’s grievances.

0826: KZN ANC chairman, also KwaZulu-Natal premier, Zweli Mkhize was confident the local government elections would be peaceful, he said after casting his vote at his Willowfontein homestead near Pietermaritzburg.

He was accompanied by party supporters who sang and chanted party slogans.

“This promises to be a peaceful election and we hope that everyone will behave themselves,” Mkhize said after voting.

He told reporters he intended visiting a number of areas to encourage people to vote.

0823: Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said the municipal elections were a turning point for South Africa as she cast her ballot at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Rondebosch, Cape Town.

“People are understanding that voting for a party means voting for what they are going to do for you for the next five years.”

Zille said the DA was the only party that could undo the legacy of apartheid by delivering services to all, and accused the ANC of taking South Africa “back to division”.

0810: Political party representatives trickled into the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) national results centre at the Tshwane Show Grounds on Wednesday morning.

The representatives are able to receive complaints from their agents on the ground and report them directly to the IEC.

Democratic Alliance senior representative on the party liaison committee, Mike Moriarty, arrived first and did not anticipate any major problems in the local government polls.

08:02 Cups of hot coffee were dispensed to voters at the Meyerton town hall, in Midvaal, part of a region the ANC hopes to snatch from the DA in the local government elections on Wednesday.

The parties had their tents pitched next to each other outside the polling station when voters trickled in after start of voting.

“By voting you can stop becoming ‘no-one’,” said Chris and Maggie Niemann, playing on the translation of their surname to English.

Another voter, John Morrison said: “People should vote just to show who they support and let their opinion be heard.”

In the 2006 local government elections, the Democratic Alliance (DA) won 55,76 percent of the votes in Midvaal and the African National Congress (ANC) 39 percent.

In the 2009 general elections, the ANC made inroads into the municipality, taking 45,63 percent of the vote. The DA took 43,9 percent.

08:00 It was a cold start for some voters who began queuing at 6am at Bloemfontein voting stations for Wednesday’s local government elections.

At Universitas Primary School and Bohmer Secondary School, election officials were getting ready for the day.

Members of the African National Congress, the Democratic Alliance and the Freedom Front Plus erected gazebos outside from which they hoped to attract last-minute votes

0758: People outside the polling station at the Diepsloot Extension Two Youth Centre in the north of Johannesburg were in a good mood as they prepared to vote in Wednesday’s local government elections.

Less than 100 people stood in the queue just after 7am, laughing and joking in the early morning sun.

Several police officers were outside the polling station. Independent Electoral Commission presiding officer Peter Bopape said he expected everything to run smoothly at all seven polling stations in Diepsloot.

0752: Voting had still not started by 7.10am in Parkhurst, Johannesburg on Wednesday.

First in the queue at the Parkhurst Primary School was 58-year-old Jamie Oglethorpe, who arrived at 6.10am.

“I know this station is not busy, but I like to get here early. I’m going to have a nice breakfast when I get home.”

He said it was important to vote.

0747: No voters pitched up at voting stations on the Cape Flats at 7am, because it was still dark.

At the Rylands Primary School, electoral officials were still setting up.

They expected people to start trickling in once the sun had come up and they had woken up.

Political parties were also moving slowly with not a single poster put up yet.

0745: About 100 people queued from 6am at the Meyerspark Primary School, in Pretoria East, on Wednesday to vote in the local government elections.

First in the queue was 29-year-old Dumisani Seoloane, who said he was looking forward to cast his vote.

“I’m voting for a better future for my kids, the future for South Africa, and Africa as a continent.”

0742: Voting got off to a lively start at Laerskool Pietersburg-Oos in Polokwane, with people gathering from around 6.15am on Wednesday.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane and International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane were expected to cast their votes there, but had not yet arrived.

0740: Voting got off to an energetic start at polling stations in Lethabong, near Rustenburg, on Wednesday.

About 200 people lined up at the Barwelanedi Primary School, where a fierce contest was expected between ANC candidate Simon Makhubela and an independent candidate Pako Molatlhegi.

Molatlhegi, who was the chairman of the ANC Youth League in ward 28 of the Rustenburg municipality, decided to stand as an independent after his name was overlooked during the ANC list process.

0735: The Independent Electoral Commission’s national results centre in Pretoria hummed with activity on Wednesday morning as South Africans took to the polls.

IEC official on electoral matters, Stuart Murphy, explained the centre was on the “pulse” of internal operations.

The “cross” or operations floor, a cordoned-off area in the middle of the centre, received and handled mostly internal complaints reported to the IEC from various parts of the country.

“We deal with operational challenges… voting stations not opening, ballot paper issues, training, logistics, any internal IEC challenges,” Murphy told Sapa.

0727: ANC Cape Town mayoral candidate Tony Ehrenreich was among the first in the queue to cast his vote at the Uitsig High School in Cape Town.

Speaking after voting, Ehrenreich expressed his happiness with the process and his confidence of winning the mayor’s seat.

0725: Voting got off to a moderate start in semi-darkness in Cape Town in the wealthy inner-city suburbs on Wednesday.

At St Cyprians High School, in Oranjezicht, there was a queue of about 20 people by 7am.

0724: Voting got off to a slow start on a cold and misty morning in Heidelberg, in the south of Gauteng, on Wednesday morning.

Less than 60 people were waiting in line when the polls opened at 7am at the town hall, the largest of Heidelberg’s polling stations.

0722: Voters started arriving at the polling station at Orlando West High School situated on Soweto’s famous Vilakazi street early on Wednesday morning.

The street is famous for having the houses of two Nobel peace prize winners — Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela.

Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was expected to cast her vote at the station later in the day.

0720: Voting got off to a brisk start in Midrand where, like in many other areas in Gauteng, service delivery had not been up to scratch recently.

“This is my third municipal elections since moving to Midrand and nothing has changed in that time,” said Serame Motloko, one of the first voters at a local polling station.

0716: At a polling station in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, a small crowd gathered early to cast their votes in Wednesday’s local government elections as officials made sure they were ready to open on time.

Voting officials were setting up equipment and the presiding officer, Doris Moloto, was checking everything was in order for a 7am start.

0716: At a polling station in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, a small crowd gathered early to cast their votes in Wednesday’s local government elections as officials made sure they were ready to open on time.

Voting officials were setting up equipment and the presiding officer, Doris Moloto, was checking everything was in order for a 7am start.

2011 South African Local Government Elections latest Update

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