Independent.Impartial

HEADLINE NEWS
  • IEC expects to release election results by Sunday
  • The first result of the 2024 elections has been released from the Bizana Baptist Church in the Eastern Cape
  • With 20 voting districts declared, the ANC still tops the list of votes on the national ballot
  • Gauteng Police say 16 elections-related arrests have been made since the poll date proclamation
  • Counting of ballots continues, albeit slowly, as only 0.57% of Voting Districts have been declared (133 out of 23 293)
  • The majority of voting stations closed late last night due to long queues: IEC
IEC in Zululand confident of completing special votes today

IEC in Zululand confident of completing special votes today

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Electoral Commission (IEC) regional manager in the Zululand District in KwaZulu-Natal, Mazwi Zungu, says he is confident they would have administered all special votes and home visits by 17:00 today

Over 300 000 people have registered to cast their special votes in the province.  

The Zululand District is one of the province’s deepest rural parts with poor road infrastructure prolonging the time of home visits. It comprises areas such as Ulundi, Nongoma, Abaqulusi, Pongola and Paulpietersburg.

The rural district is engulfed by a number of challenges such as poor road infrastructure and water.

Despite this, the IEC says day one of the special votes commenced without major interruptions.

There are over 20 000 people who have registered to cast their special votes at over 500 voting stations in this district.

VIDEO | First day of special votes in Zululand: 

KZN communities urged to respect IEC officials during special votes

KZN communities urged to respect IEC officials during special votes

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The IEC’s Provincial Electoral Officer in KwaZulu-Natal, Ntombifuthi Masinga, has appealed to communities not to violate staff who will be administering special votes in various parts of the country today and tomorrow.

More than 1.6 million South Africans have registered for special votes. In KwaZulu-Natal, over 320 000 people have registered for special votes.

Voting stations will be open between 09:00 and 17:00 and at the same time home visits will be undertaken.

Only voters who were approved for special votes will be allowed to vote on these two days.

Masinga says, “In the province and in the country, there will be a lot of IEC officials that will be out in the field. We appeal to communities to protect them and keep them safe because we know that things can happen out there. So, we are saying to communities to be on the lookout for our staff that will be visiting people that will be visited at home.”

IEC commended

President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded the IEC for its preparation for this year’s elections.

Ramaphosa says the country’s elections, since the dawn of democracy, have been defined by integrity.

He was addressing the nation last night as the over 27 million South Africans prepare to cast their votes from today until Wednesday.

The president says, We commend the Independent Electoral Commission for the impressive work they have undertaken in preparation for these elections. We have once again witnessed the capabilities of the IEC in the successful voter registration weekends, in the registration of parties and candidates, in the preparation of ballot papers, in the organisation of overseas voting, and in the diligent application of our electoral laws. We convey our thanks to the IEC staff as they deliver on this most important responsibility in the coming days. One of the defining features of all our elections since 1994 has been their integrity.” 

VIDEO| IEC briefs the media on readiness for special votes: 

-Additional reporting by Ntebo Mokobo

 

MK Party confident of two-thirds majority in elections

MK Party confident of two-thirds majority in elections

Reading Time: 3 minutes

UMkhonto WeSizwe (MK) Party says it has no doubt of obtaining a two-third majority victory in the upcoming national and provincial elections on Wednesday May 29.

The party took its election trail to Hammarsdale, west of Durban. The area is an African National Congress (ANC) stronghold. During the late 80s and early 90s it experienced political violence that saw scores of people being killed in clashes between the ANC and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).

With just a few days before the country’s seventh general election, MK Party supporters in Hammarsdale came out in their numbers to the rally.

The supporters say they are pinning their hopes that if elected into power the party will address issues of basic needs and land.

“MK is the only party that will rescue South Africa from the pressure that the country is facing. Right now our land is owned by people who don’t belong in this country, we don’t have land. We will vote for MK so that the democracy of this country will be the one that we seek, which favours us all not just a certain group of people.

We want jobs, we are staying at home, our children are educated but they are still unemployed, we want our lives to be better,” says MK supporter.

The young people who attended the rally say they want issues of unemployment and service delivery to be addressed.

“My vote will change that if you are 35 years you can’t be employed, because they need experience. If we are looking for a job they want 10 years experience. As we speak we are unemployed, I want my vote to change that. MK will bring change because we will be developed and we will have roads,” says another MK supporter.

The MK Party leadership says the Constitutional Court’s decision to bar former President Jacob Zuma from holding public office, has not dampened their spirits and their programmes.

MK Party Senior leader Visvin Reddy says, “President Jacob Zuma will remain the face and the president of Umkhonto Wesizwe. He is the force behind this party. He drives this political party, he drives this movement. So that decision by the captured court does not bother us. We are going for the two thirds majority, it on the horizon Wednesday it’s going to happen.”

The MK party is expected to wrap up its election rally in the Mpumalanga Province on Sunday.

2024 Elections | MK Party in KZN holds final rally in Hammarsdale: Visvin Reddy

Ongoing water problems make KwaXimba residents sceptical to vote

Ongoing water problems make KwaXimba residents sceptical to vote

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Some residents of KwaXimba, west of Durban, say ongoing water problems have left them despondent about voting in the 29 May general election.

In February, the community embarked on a protest over a lack of access to water. This prompted Water Minister Senzo Mchunu to visit the area – promising short and long-term solutions.

However, 2 months later, residents say the situation has not improved. These residents say water tankers only arrive once a week.

“After three days of striking suddenly there was water running from our taps. The officials then called a meeting and they promised us that water would be restored fully in April.”

“Our children are unable to go to school because there is no water and we can’t do our laundry.”

“For me, I will not be voting, people can go vote for me. It’s a no thank you.”

“I will vote because I love my area but to be honest we are really struggling without water. If the government can please restore our water we will be happy.”

Meanwhile, Ward 1 councillor, Themba Ntuli admits that there are areas with challenges however he says 80% of Ward 1 does have access to clean running water.

“Some areas in the ward are still experiencing water challenges. But other areas do have water. Water tankers are also going around to those residents who need water.”

Water crisis in KZN – Robert Mashego shares thoughts

EFF believes no party will have majority win in KZN

EFF believes no party will have majority win in KZN

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says it believes that no political party will win KwaZulu-Natal with an outright majority. Upscaling efforts ahead of the 29 May polls, the party has taken its election campaign to areas in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

These have been African National Congress (ANC) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) strongholds.

With less than a month until the general elections, party campaigns throughout the country are intensifying. This week, several political parties, including the EFF, took their election campaigns to the highly contested KwaZulu-Natal province.

“In 2019 remember that we grew from 80 000 votes to over 300 000 votes. In this province, nobody expected that. We are visible in eThekwini, in the hostel where normally it was a no-go area, it was the territory of the IFP and the ANC. But as we speak today, the EFF was accepted. They are receiving our message. The manifesto of the EFF it’s clear, it’s about commitment than of empty promises,” says EFF’s Secretary- General Marshall Dlamini.

He says the party is working to ensure that no party wins KwaZulu-Natal with an outright majority.

“I can tell you now for a fact that even if EFF can stop campaigning today, no one is going to win this province. We have gathered enough ground of support to ensure that we are also going to be part of government. There is no one who is going to win this province. But we have to put in more work on the ground which is why we are crisscrossing the province. We are doing rallies and door-to-door.”

 

Residents from the area spoke out, appealing for change. A young man says he is concerned with the high crime rate in Mtubatuba.

“We have a high rate of crime, when we report to the police station we don’t get much assistance. We want change in this area so that everyone can be free. We also want to participate in the community building, maybe they can keep the youth busy with sports.”

Some of raised their concerns about the unemployment rate.  “On the issue of employment, everyone must get the job they qualify for, it should not be about age and gender.”

The EFF’s campaign in KwaZulu-Natal moves to the Glebelands Hostel in the Umlazi township of Durban.