While most voter registration stations opened smoothly on Saturday, some problems with violence and roads rendered impassable by rains were experienced, the Independent Electoral Commission said.The vast majority of registration stations opened on schedule at 08:00 today for the final weekend registration drive and officials reported a smooth start to registration in all but a handful of the country’s 22 263 voting stations."
In Bekkersdal on the Johannesburg West Rand, petrol bombs were thrown at two voter registration stations and registration staff were threatened, the IEC said in a statement. The IEC was monitoring the situation and would re-open the Bekkersdal stations as soon as possible. Most of the hitches, however, were related to recent heavy rains and some voter registration stations opened late due to impassable roads in remote rural areas, the IEC said in a statement.
In Limpopo, in the Musina and Mutale areas officials had to wade across a flooded low-level bridge to reach registration stations, while elsewhere in the North West, in the Kagisano and Molopo areas, official vehicles became bogged down in mud and had to be rescued by security forces.Flooding also affected the delivery of registration materials in the Northern Cape in the Joe Morolong municipality.The IEC expressed gratitude for co-operation from communities and political parties to ensure that eligible voters could register on the last voter registration weekend.
Unregistered voters were urged to take this weekend to make sure they were able to vote in the general elections, which President Jacob Zuma announced would be held on 7 May.The African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal expressed satisfaction with the voter registration in the province on Saturday.We are satisfied that the open voter registration drive is proceeding as planned," provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said in a statement.