African National Congress

ANC STATEMENT ON FIRST DAY OF SPECIAL VOTING

6 May 2019

ANC STATEMENT ON FIRST DAY OF SPECIAL VOTING

The African National Congress is encouraged by the overwhelming success of the first day of the special registration with the record number of voters registered for special votes in comparison to previous elections.  We commend the IEC for the level of organisation and the responsiveness to the teething problems as they arose. 

We have noted challenges and incidents that have been reported in various Provinces.  These incidents varied in their degree of seriousness.  The incidents included materials arriving late at voting stations, voting stations only having one envelope, which was resolved by midday, voting stations not opening due to protest action, voters not appearing on the special vote list while their special vote applications were confirmed.  The ANC is encouraged that these incidents affected only a few of the 22925 voting stations nationally.

The right to vote is sacrosanct to our nation.  It is a symbol of the triumph of the human spirit against oppression and tyranny.  There is no greater demonstration of a commitment to build a better society where civil liberties and socio-economic rights are protected and upheld, than through the exercise of the right to vote.  Voting is the highest form of democracy.  While communities have a right to protest, no one should be allowed to interfere with that right.  We have been advised that relevant authorities are attending to the issues raised by various communities and appeal on them to give the authorities space to attend to the issues.

We urge the media to act responsibly by encouraging South Africans to embrace their civic duty and exercise their right to vote.

Incidents reported in various Provinces include:
•    In the Eastern Cape, out of 4795 voting stations, approximately 14 stations were affected by protests.  Some of the affected voting stations were subsequently opened and voters allowed to cast their special votes.
•    In the Free State, out of the 1529 voting stations, approximately 2 voting stations did not open due to protests with one temporary voting station tent demolished by protesters.
•    In Gauteng, out of 2771 voting stations, approximately 3 voting stations did not open for voting.
•    In KwaZulu-Natal, out of 4885 voting stations, approximately 10 voting stations were affected, with 5 of these in eThekwini Metro.
•    In Limpopo, out of 3157 voting stations, approximately 5 voting stations were affected and did not open.
•    In Mpumalanga, out of 1772, approximately 1 voting station was affected
•    In the North-West out of 1733, approximately 2 voting stations were affected.

We have also noted incidents that have been circulating on social media which allegedly depict a party agent moving a ballot box that appears to have contents and another one showing ballot boxes found on the side of the road.  We have been assured that these incidents are being investigated by relevant authorities.

We have also noted a number of instances where voting stations had to be moved either as a result of protests or other considerations.  We appeal to voters to exercise patience and look out for information where their voting stations may have been relocated.  The media must be responsible in ensuring that communities are kept informed of these changes.   

We have seen South Africans from all walks of life exercising their right to vote, casting their special vote.  These included eminent persons such as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, members of the National Executive Committee and President of the ANC Veteran’s League, Snuki Zikalala.

The ANC believes the first day of special voting was successful and we congratulate the IEC for the effort they have placed in addressing challenges as they emerge.  We have full faith in the capacity of the IEC, and the robustness of their systems alongside checks and balances to ensure that they deliver free and fair elections. 

Issued by:    African National Congress

More information:    Dakota Legoete        
Acting National Spokesperson
072 718 5955

Enquiries: Mhlabunzima Memela
                 National Media Relations Manager
                 084 817 9116

Released: 
Monday, May 6, 2019