Home News City by-elections run ‘smoothly’

City by-elections run ‘smoothly’

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The acting Sol Plaatje municipal manager would be informed today, in writing, of the names of the successful candidates.

X MARKS THE SPOT: Voters queueing at the Ward 12 voting station at the Redirile High School premises to cast their votes during the by-elections yesterday. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE CITY’S new ward councillors will be announced today by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) following yesterday’s by-elections.

By-elections took place in wards 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 19 and 32.

Voters arrived to cast their ballots yesterday wearing an assortment of political T-shirts, with some believing that the outcome of the by-elections could produce some unexpected results.

IEC provincial manager Elkin Topkin said yesterday that the names of the successful candidates would be available online, on the IEC website, as from this morning.

“Counting and verification of votes was completed after the voting stations closed at 9pm (last night). Objections must be lodged within 48 hours.”

Topkin said that the acting Sol Plaatje municipal manager would be informed today, in writing, of the names of the successful candidates.

“The new ward councillors are automatically appointed into their positions as soon as their names are pronounced. The swearing-in ceremony will be done by the municipality.”

Topkin added that no incidents were reported at any of the voting stations.

“Everything went smoothly. Staff were, however, unable to access the voting station at Phatsimang college, as students were protesting. An alternative venue was found at the Presbyterian church that is situated close by. It has proven to be an ideal venue that we will utilise in the future as it is spacious and congestion free.”

Topkin added that home visits for the casting of special votes were also “incident free”.

Spokesperson for Sol Plaatje Municipality Sello Matsie said the Speaker would arrange a date for the swearing-in ceremony for the new councillors.

Some voters outside the voting stations yesterday believed that the ANC would retain all seven wards, while others stated that they were voting for change.

EFF members predicted that the party was gaining ground and would be victorious.

Supporters of the independent candidates felt strongly that they would win the wards.

“The independent candidates stood up for the community when we rejected the R260 basic electricity levy. They were not afraid of losing their jobs when they were expelled. Even if we are ANC card-carrying members we will vote for them (independent candidates) because they are selfless and always come out when we need them. People are making educated choices and are voting for ward councillors who can do the job and can make a difference in the community.”

One voter said that she hoped that the new ward councillor would ensure that children have recreational facilities.

“Currently there is nothing for them to do, so they just sit at home or end up getting into trouble or turning to drugs or alcohol. We want sports fields, a swimming pool, soccer fields and outdoor activities that will keep the youth off the streets.”

Another resident added that the incoming councillor needed to create jobs for people living in the area.

“I am sickly and am unable to work but would desperately like to earn an income.”

Voters living in informal settlements said that they yearned for decent houses and basic services.