Gauteng Premier David Makhura has on Wednesday said he was confident that the ANC would receive overwhelming support from the 6.2 million registered voters in the province.
Makhura was the first voter at Ward 106 on the border between Tshwane and Johannesburg, where fewer than 30 voters braved the chilly weather. The polling stationed opened on time at 7am and was to close at 7pm, although anyone in the queue by cut-off time would still be allowed to vote.
He said the provincial government had ensured that the elections took place peacefully and that the kind of service-delivery protests that preceded the elections were avoided.
“I’m very confident that, having been the first one to vote, the ANC will continue to receive overwhelming support. Certainly, the people of Tshwane will be out in their thousands today,” said Makhura.
“I have no worry at all that there would be violence. We have done everything from the point of view of government. We have deployed 16 000 law enforcement officers. So I’m confident that wherever there may be trouble, we are ready.”
Makhura said Wednesday belonged to the voters and that the polls that predicted the ANC would lose some municipalities in Gauteng would be proven wrong.
“Today belongs to the voters. The voters have the final say. We have always said as the ANC that on election day we will deliver and the ANC will be returned to continue the mandate of transforming our country,” Makhura said.
“From the point of view of the work we have done, especially as the ANC, we have municipalities that have performed tremendously well with regards to basic services, investing in infrastructure and stimulating the local economy.”
Makhura said his government had a “good track record” of improving the quality of the lives of people.
But he carefully avoided questions about public resentment of e-tolls.
“In the areas where the ANC has been working, such as nearby in Diepsloot, 20 years ago there was no infrastructure that you see there now,” Makhura said.
“Even where there are still informal settlements, we can show what we’ve been able to do to improve infrastructure and make life better for many of our residents.”
Some voters who were next in line expressed pleasure at the efficiency of the voting process, saying that they only wanted to see what was promised being delivered.
– African News Agency (ANA)