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Voting off to smooth start in some polling stations

Voting has got off to a smooth start at the Zandspruit informal settlement north-west of Johannesburg.

The area was hit by a series of service delivery protests in the run-up to Wednesday’s municipal elections.

Scores of Zandspruit residents have arrived to cast their ballots.

They are hoping their votes will help improve their living conditions.

Some say they are not asking much from government – they just want RDP houses, sanitation and electricity.

There have been no reports of intimidation so far.

The small mining town of Carletonville on Gauteng’s far West Rand, which saw residents boycott the 2006 local government elections, is witnessing long queues at several voting stations.

Residents had gone on the rampage across the Merafong district over government’s decision to integrate their area into the North West.

It’s a two horse race for the Midvaal

In Midvaal, voters are making their way to polling stations where no long queues have been reported

Dozens of people have braved chilly weather to come and vote.

Midvaal has also experienced several protests leading up to these elections.

It’s a two horse race for the Midvaal – the only Democratic Alliance (DA) run municipality in Gauteng.

The frontrunners are the African National Congress (ANC) and the DA.

The voters say they hope their votes will bring positive change.

Residents recently embarked on violent protests accusing the mayor, Bongani Baloyi of neglecting black townships.

The mayor disputed this, saying he had evidence that there was a third force behind the protests.

In the Northern Cape, the IEC says while it does not expect any incidents at voting stations during the elections.

Security forces will be on high alert in volatile areas such as Joe Morolong in Kuruman.

Presiding officers in the Sol Plaatjie Municipal area queued in the early hours of the morning to collect voting material for their respective voting stations.

Ballot boxes collected and other voting material dispatched from the Results Operations Centre at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley.

Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) Provincial Electoral Officer Bonolo Modise who was present when the material was distributed says no major incidents are expected but members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) are on standby.

“There are some areas in the Joe Morolong area that are of concern to us but security forces indicated to us that they have had consultations in those communities,” says Modise.

He says they have been assured that all voting stations will open without any hiccups.

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