Voting in Western Cape by-elections start

FILE PICTURE:  People cast their vote. Picture: Michel Bega

FILE PICTURE: People cast their vote. Picture: Michel Bega

By-elections in the Western Cape got off to a steady start on Wednesday.

Electoral officers said voters started queuing at voting stations at around 6am.

“The voting tempo will slow down during the morning. However, we are expecting more voters to arrive at around lunchtime and then again after 6pm when people return from work,” Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) regional organiser in the Overberg Essie Fortuin said.

At some voting stations, such as at the Gerald Wright Hall in Grabouw, about 100 people waited outside hoping to vote before going to work.

Four by-elections are scheduled to take place in the Western Cape. One by-election is uncontested.

In Theewaterskloof municipality, ward 11 is contested by Enrico Oosthuizen of the African National Congress (ANC), Lydia Matomela of the Democratic Alliance (DA), and Simbongile Majelo of the United Democratic Movement.

The ward was previously represented by the DA and became vacant after the councillor resigned.

Electoral officer Stiffie Cronje said three mediators were on duty in case tempers flared.

He said allegations that more than 500 voters were registered in the ward but not living there anymore had been investigated by the IEC.

“We used sophisticated equipment determining the GPS co-ordinates of addresses of all the voters registered in ward 11. We found that only 24 of them were actually not living in the ward,” Cronje said.

“We tried to contact them to inform them that they are no longer eligible to vote. However, most of them had either moved elsewhere or were not available.”

Ward 2 in the Overstrand municipality is being contested by Juan Lewis of the ANC and Riana de Coning of the DA.

The ward was previously represented by a DA councillor who resigned.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is contesting ward 5 in Overstrand for the first time.

Samuel Nywebeni of the EFF and Sicelo Gxamesi of the ANC are contesting the ward. The ward was represented by an ANC councillor who died.

Ward 7 in Overstrand is uncontested. David Botha of the DA is the only candidate. The previous DA councillor resigned.

Voting stations were opened at 7am and would remain so until 9pm.

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