More than 200 voting stations were still open an hour after the official close of voting in Kwazulu-Natal on Wednesday.
The province’s chief electoral officer Mawethu Mosery said at a press conference in Durban that there were queues at polling stations of up to 1 000 people still waiting to vote.
He highlighted Glebelands Hostels, Inchanga and the KwaMashu Hostels as being the main areas in the greater Durban area where voting stations were still open after the scheduled 7pm closing time.
There were also voting stations that were open in the greater Pietermaritzburg area after the 7pm closing time. He said that counting at those stations with very long queues might only start shortly before midnight.
Some voting stations had been affected by a storm that blew over tents while other voting stations were affected by power cuts.
Voting stations on the outskirts of Durban in the Ndwedwe Local Municipality was another area that was affected by power outages.
“They (the electoral officials) used candles while waiting for the supply of our batter lights,” said Mosery.
He said that despite the challenges in the province, he was happy with the process.
Mosery said that in eThekwini Metro Municipality Ward 4, there were three voting stations where there were queues of more than 1000 people each.
The ward is being hotly contested by an independent candidate, Petrus Nxumalo, who was formerly a member of the ANC. The ward has seen SACP members at odds with the candidate that the ANC ultimately chose. Heightened tensions over the nomination process of candidates in the ward led to a shooting incident where SACP member Philip Dlamini was shot dead and the SACP to subsequently temporarily withdraw its support for the candidate nomination process.
Mosery said that there were 18 030 registered voters in the ward and five voting stations.
He said that it was still too early to determine the voter turnout in the province. Audited results are only expected to start rolling in after Wednesday midnight.
– African News Agency (ANA)