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Voting in the 2024 National and Provincial Elections got off to a steady start with 93% of voting stations reported to have opened at 7am on Wednesday.

The Electoral Commission’s Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Masego Sheburi said all IEC trained staff members reported for duty and started welcoming the first of the 26 million eligible voters at 7am at the 23 292 voting stations across the country. 

“In most stations, queues had formed even before the stations opened. This is testament to the enthusiasm of South Africans to record their political choices,” Sheburi said at a media briefing held at the National Results Operational Centre (ROC) in Midrand.

Sheburi also noted that there was a delay in the opening some voting stations. This was mostly in Johannesburg due to the late delivery of materials, delayed escorts by security services, or protests by certain community members. 

Five voting stations in the Eastern Cape also did not open on time due to community protests. 

However, at midday, election operations around the country reported good progress with minimal incidents reported. 

The Commission assured voters that adequate supplies of all materials, including more than 90 million ballot papers, are available, and every voter will be assisted to vote.

The Commission also urged voters in the queues to be patient, as traditionally, voting queues peak early as voters often seek to vote first thing in the day. 

“Where there were difficulties with our voter management device, instructions were issued for voting to proceed on the manual voters’ roll. We also remind voters of the cardinal rule in the NPE2024 [National and Provincial Elections 2024], to vote where you are registered. 

“Also, once in the voting station and presented with ballot papers, remember to make one mark on one ballot.”

Sheburi also reported that voting kicked off in the morning at correctional facilities across the country to allow inmates to cast their votes.

Indelible ink

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission has advised those who have voted not to go on extra effort to remove the indelible ink mark on their thumbs. 

“The indelible ink is one of several security checks and safeguards built into the election process, but the Commission wishes to remind all voters that any attempt to undermine the integrity of the election process, including attempting to remove the ink mark, constitutes electoral fraud and is punishable by up to 10 years in jail,” the Commission said.

Make your voice heard

The Electoral Commission has thanked voters who have already responded to the call to vote, and appealed to all remaining voters to make their way to a voting station before they close at 9pm tonight.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is among those who have already cast their vote.

The President cast his vote in Chiawelo, Soweto.

“I went into the voting station, greeted various party agents, and proceeded to cast my vote. This is a great day for democracy in South Africa. This is the day when South Africa decides on the future of our country…who should lead the government of South Africa,” the President said on Wednesday.

READ | President casts his vote

The commission also reminded all eligible voters of the following:

  • To bring along valid South African identity document.
  • That each voter will be verified on the voters roll and marked with ink on the left thumb.
  • Each voter will receive three ballot papers: the national, regional, and provincial ballot papers. Voters are reminded to indicate their choices with one mark on each ballot (voters who have given pre-notification to vote at a voting stations outside the province in which they are registered will receive only the national ballot).
  • That each ballot paper will be validated with a stamp on the reverse.
  • That all three ballots must be deposited in the ballot box at the voting station.
  • It is prohibited for a voter to take a photograph of their marked ballot paper. This arrangement is necessary to protect the secrecy of the choice of voters and to avoid voters being coerced or unduly induced into making political choices.

Voting continues. –

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