Bekkersdal registration stations monitored

Twelve stations were temporarily closed after angry residents threw stones at IEC officials.

IEC officers set up ballot boxes at Orange Grove Primary School on 20 April, 2009. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has assured that all Bekkersdal registration stations are being closely monitored and will not be disrupted again.

Earlier on Saturday seven of the 12 stations were temporarily closed after angry residents threw stones at IEC officials.

This week the community threatened to boycott this weekend's voter registration process after Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the ANC did not need protestors 'dirty votes' following recent violence in the area.

IEC Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya says the situation is now back to normal and centres will reopen tomorrow.

Police are closely monitoring Bekkersdal this afternoon.

Many of them are patrolling the area on foot while others are in nyalas.

Registration offices across the country are expected to close at five this afternoon and will reopen tomorrow at eight in the morning.

Meanwhile, voting registrations stations are now closed for the first day of the weekend's voters registration drive.

The IEC has hailed today as a success, despite a very slow start at the voter registration stations across the country.

Moepya says around 99.8 percent of the voting stations have been operating normally since opening.

"Illegible voters that are out there and that have not registered to vote, we're asking them in their thousands of numbers to come and take up these first 2 million positions.

"Of course we can do more but 2 million is indeed what we're aiming for."

He hopes that there are more registrations tomorrow.

"This is one of the registration weekends that have given us the least problems except the instances in about 51 voting stations countrywide. The rest are operational and running smoothly."

WESTERN CAPE

Du Noon and Joe Slovo residents in Cape Town did not seem to come out in full force today to register for next year's election.

The two communities situated near Milnerton make up part of one of Cape Town's largest informal settlements.

Groups of ANC, DA and Agang members across the five registration points in the area have all recorded low registration numbers.

They say they don't expect bumper crowds today as most people are at work, but they expect to be extremely busy tomorrow afternoon when most people will be free.

While registration points in the community are fairly quiet, residents are going about the weekend hustle and bustle around shopping centres.

Law enforcement officials can also be seen patrolling the area to ensure registration runs smoothly.