#Elections2014: Delays in Siqalo

While some refuse to vote today other Siqalo residents complain voting stations opened late.

The Siqalo voting station was moved inside a shopping complex for safety reasons on 6 May. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Several Siqalo informal settlement residents outside Mitchells Plain have complained they have been waiting too long to cast their vote.

More than 2 million voters in the province are expected to cast their ballots throughout the course of the day.

The informal settlement has seen several violent protests in recent weeks, as residents are disgruntled by the slow pace of service delivery.

The Siqalo Informal Settlement along Vanguard Drive in the Western Cape. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN

A 29-year-old resident arrived at the make-shift polling station at 6am this morning but complained that it took Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials too long to open some stations.

He says this is the fourth time he will be making his X and he has a clear idea which party will be getting his vote.

During a voter registration drive in the township earlier this year an IEC tent was burnt down during violent protests.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission has identified several hotspot areas in the Cape as voting begins countrywide.

The commission, which is comprised of civil society members and various religious leaders, is appealing to political parties to allow voters to exercise their democratic right without intimidation.

The commission, headed by Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, visited the Siqalo informal settlement, as it has been identified as a hot spot area.

Cape Town Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba speaking to IEC officer at Siqalo, in Mitchell's Plain. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN.

Various service delivery protests have taken place in the township in recent weeks, with roads being clocked by angry residents.

The commission will attempt to cover as many polling stations in the Boland and around Cape Town today.

It has also appealed to voters to make their way to polling stations as early as possible to avoid expected long queues.

At the same time Western Cape police say they are determined to ensure the elections are free of any incidents.

Thousands of officers have been deployed across the province.

They'll be making their presence felt at potential election flashpoints.

Provincial Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer says violence won't be tolerated.

"There'll be enough police officers deployed in all the different areas. The 1,578 voting stations will have police officers deployed from SAPS patrol. There'll also be reaction forces in the different areas. We are happy with the deployments and we'll make sure it's a happy, free and fair election."


The IEC the Western Cape has reiterated voter intimidation will not be tolerated.

The commission's provincial head Courtney Sampson says, "We are committed to ensuring that there should be an environment where people are able to exercise their political choice as freely as they possibly can. Intimidation and activities of provocation and taunting are probably going to be the order of the day."

For the latest from #Elections2014 follow EWN's live blog.