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Counting starts after polling stations close

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“We don’t have a choice, we must continue counting until the last ballot paper has been counted”

South Africa - The 6th democratic national and provincial elections took place in South Africa. A record 48 political parties will contest this year's elections, 19 more parties on the ballot paper compared to the last general elections in 2014. According to IEC, South Africa's voters' roll contains 26 756 898 voters, of whom 55 percent are women and 45 percent are men. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

THE COUNTING of votes cast in the country’s sixth general election since democracy began at 9pm last night when polling stations closed.

According to the IEC provincial electoral officer, Bonolo Modise, once the counting starts it will continue until the last vote has been counted.

“We don’t have a choice, we must continue counting until the last ballot paper has been counted,” Modise said yesterday.

Counting started at the individual polling stations and results are filtered through to the IEC headquarters in the Province. The Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre is the Northern Cape’s headquarters.

According to the IEC, there are 48 parties that have registered parliamentary candidates for the national general elections – 19 more parties compared to the last elections.

In the Northern Cape, voters could select from 21 political parties to represent them in the provincial legislature.

Following the 2014 general elections, the ANC received 20 Northern Cape Provincial Legislature seats (64.4 percent of the vote), the DA clinched seven seats (23.89 percent), the EFF won two seats (4.96 percent), while Cope managed to retain one seat in the legislature.

IEC provincial manager Elkin Topkin said that there were 626 171 registered voters in the Northern Cape.

“There is an increase in the number of voters since the last elections. The IEC had a major drive to attract youths and we are hoping that they turned up at the polls.”

He indicated that inmates were also able to vote at Correctional Services facilities.

The first results were expected at midnight.