Voting in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) got under way slowly this morning, but as of yet, no significant problems have been reported.
The Northern KwaZulu-Natal Courier reported there was a slow but steady start to voting in Dannhauser, situated midway between Durban and Johannesburg, as residents braved the cold morning to make their mark.
While other towns may have queues of people waiting to cast their vote, Dannhauser is more laid-back and easygoing. One voter remarked how peaceful and easy it was to vote in the town.
Philippus and Johanna Vorster were the first to vote in the town and were soon joined by a handful of people who made their mark in this year’s elections.
The Northern KwaZulu Natal Courier further reported voting started briskly in Dundee, in the Endumeni Municipality in KZN this morning, with many braving the chill to make their mark.
Meanwhile in Newcastle, the IEC in Amajuba District assured residents ahead of the elections that it was ready to hold safe local elections on Wednesday. In the lead-up to the local elections, there were alleged political killings of ANC Ward 6 candidate Thembi Mbongo and ANCYL’s Wandile Ngubenim, as well as the attempted murder of ANCYL chairperson Mafika Mndebele in the area.
The Newcastle Advertiser reported that the regional Supervisor at IEC, Nonhlanhla Mbonani, said they were working closely with SAPS to safeguard voters and the public on election day.
“Stations that do not have electricity have been provided for, and stations without water have also been provided for. In areas where roads and the terrain have been affected by the recent rains we have already sorted that out with the department of transport. Right now, we are ready to make sure that the people that registered are provided the opportunity to vote,” noted Mbonani.
With more than 60 voting stations, the IEC and SAPS will have their hands full ensuring a safe and smooth election.
In the north on the KZN coastline, the Zululand Observer reported that voting was brisk in Arboretum in Richards Bay when polling stations opened at 7am. A group of early birds arrived at the Ward 3 station at John Ross College in high spirits, eager to get it over and done with to free the rest of the day for leisure activities.
Watch as residents queue at the Arboretum voting station:
While on the south coast, South Coast Herald further reported that voting got under way smoothly at Port Shepstone Secondary School.
On the north coast of KZN at the Salt Rock Library, a substantial queue had already formed by 7am and a jovial mood prevailed, the North Coast Courier reports.
Sipping coffee and chatting to each other, people were relaxed, if a tad sleepy, and the process was organised and smooth.
The area was divided into two groups.
“I’ll be very glad when this is done as I am tired of hearing about elections on the news,” said Salt Rock resident Uli Kliem.
Meanwhile, Vere van Heerden said he was optimistic: “These are exciting times.” Thandeka Zungu also said: “Very happy to be here to vote.”
Drew Hort said with a joking smile that he would ‘hunt down’ anyone not voting.
Police constables Nobuhle Mhlaba and Nomthandazo Zwane said they did not expect any trouble at the Salt Rock Library voting station, but they remained alert for troublemakers.
In the small resort town of Umdloti, at the crack of dawn, young and old cycled, jogged and walked to the Umdloti voting station to make their mark on.
Everyone felt excited about the election, and the atmosphere was peaceful and jovial.
“The turnout is great and I feel positive about the day. I am excited to hear the good news,” said Umdloti resident, Tabitha Wright-Ingle.
– Caxton News Service