The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) in the Free State encourages residents to take the opportunity to vote during the closing hours of the general elections today.
According to provincial manager, Itumeleng Liba, by midday the voter turnout was extremely low.
“As at 13:00 this afternoon voter turn out was 200 000 in the province. This number is significantly low when looked at the registered population of 1.4 million,” said Liba.
However, the IEC remains hopeful that there will be an upturn in voters during the last hours of voting, even though thunderstorms persist in Mangaung.
“The weather of course has an impact but we are hopeful that people will cast their votes in the evening as this has been the trend in previous elections,” elaborated Liba.
Bloemfontein Courant reported that the turnout for special elections on Monday and Tuesday were also low.
There were only about 30 000 actual voters out of 66 000 who had registered in the Free State.
According to IEC communication’s officer, Mmathabo Rasengane, many registered voters were not available for home visits.
“The special voting process went well even though the numbers were not as expected. We found that some people were not at their homes even though we had indicated that we would be making visits while others did not come to voting stations,” she said.
In Mangaung the turnout was even less, according to the spokesperson. “Mangaung stats are not final yet but out of the 20 000 who were expected to cast their votes we had less than 10 000 turning up, which was quite a challenge for us,” explained Rasengane. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele