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‘I don’t know who I must choose’: voting in major areas in Ekurhuleni off to a slow start

01 November 2021 - 13:22
Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina said he was concerned about low voter turnout.
Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina said he was concerned about low voter turnout.
Image: Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo

Voting stations in Katlehong, Thokoza and Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni experienced a slow start on Monday morning, with fewer voters queuing to cast their ballots, including in Ward 51, where executive mayor Mzwandile Masina was expected to vote.

At 10am, only eight voters were inside Mogobeng Primary School where Masina would vote.

Some residents sat outside their homes and watched as voters, mostly elderly people, made their way to voting stations. Those at home indicated they would not be casting their ballots.

Thato Mabala, from Nhlapo Section, said some residents did not have the energy to vote.

“I did register but I don’t see myself voting because I don’t know who I must choose. Many people don’t see the point of voting because none of the things we have been promised here have been fulfilled,” Mabala said.

Some residents said they would decide later in the day if they would cast their ballots.

Masina said while he was concerned about the poor voter turnout, he hoped people would come out later to help the party improve on the 49% it secured in 2016 when it was forced to lead the metro through a coalition. 

“Voter turnout is always an issue, especially when it comes to proportional representation. But it is still early in the day and we are certain our people are going to come out,” he said.

Masina, however, indicated that while the party was hoping to secure a clear majority, it was planning to engage with other smaller opposition parties to join forces with it if it failed.

“We have already accumulated sufficient experience with coalitions and we should be able to look at progressive parties we can talk to,” he said.

Meanwhile, police kept their presence in Ward 124, Johannesburg’s biggest ward, as residents planned to march to the Johannesburg City Hall in the CBD.

Disgruntled residents from the inner-city camped at the nearby Beyers Naude Square, a stone’s throw away from the voting station while they complained about the switching off of water supplies and evictions.

Some voters were turned away as they were told by Electoral Commission officials that they belonged in other wards.



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