Despite hiccups, locals make their mark on voting day

A voter shows off his mark after making his vote at the Hout Bay Library.

Despite the pouring rain, Hout Bay residents responded to the call and came out in their numbers to vote in the local government election on Monday.

Registered voters exercised their democratic right and civic duty by voting at one of the six voting stations – Llandudno Primary School, Sentinel Primary School, Oranjekloof Moravian Primary School, Iziko Lobomi Community Centre, Gospel Outreach Ministry Church and Hout Bay Library.

Michael Hendricks, provincial electoral officer, said at a media briefing at the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) nerve centre in Cape Town that all voting stations were up and running, but the weather posed some challenges, as rains lashed the cape.

In the queue outside the library, Anna Benson Miller, stood for nearly an hour before she was able to cast her vote.

“We were soaking wet from head to toe, but we felt it was important for us to be there and see this through. We cannot use the rains as an excuse, because our country needs this,” she said, waiting in line with her parents and brother.

She pointed out the amount of rubbish littered around the library entrance and fence, and then joked: “First thing I am asking the new councillor for is a good clean at the library.”

Standing, waiting patiently for his turn, outside the Iziko Lobomi Community Centre voting station in Imizamo Yethu was Aphiwe Mbhalika, who was voting for the very first time.

It would have been his first opportunity to vote in the last election, but he had lost all his documents in a fire and was unable to register.

“I feel like I am contributing positively by having a say in my country and community. We can only hope that people and parties we are voting for will stand for us and make our communities a better place,” he said.

Mr Mbhalika was not moved by the weather at all, saying: “We live in IY and you grow used to conditions like these. We are here to vote and have our say.”

Hout Bay police station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jerome Syster confirmed that no serious incidents had been reported, barring one incident which unfolded outside a voting station.

“During the election period, drag racing took place in Hangberg near an election point. This could have caused big implications for the drivers as well as spectators, including children and community. SAPS are following up on information which could lead to arrests,” he said.

Lieutenant Colonel Syster went on to commend all role players for their efforts during the election period.

“Hout Bay SAPS and the IEC would like to thank the CPF for their role and other parties involved for ensuring smooth and safe elections. We also would like to thank the community’s effort for participating and for their involvement in this successful event,” he said.

The Peace and Mediation Forum spokesperson, Warren Abrahams, casts his vote at Sentinel Primary School in Hangberg.

Deputy chairperson of the DA’s Hout Bay branch, Warren Abrahams, said despite there being some issues at the voting stations, he was happy with the process and the end results.

Mr Abrahams worked as a party agent for the Democratic Alliance for the Special Votes and Election Day.

In Hangberg, at the Sentinel Primary School voting station, some voters started to leave the queue due to slow movement, according to Mr Abrahams.

“We encouraged voters to return (but) they said they wouldn’t,” he said.

“The best part was seeing democracy in action and the patient voters cast their votes.”

Voting operations ran smoothly at the Sentinel Primary School out in Hangberg.