20°C / 22°C

#Elections2014: WC ready

From IEC officials to party candidates, the Western Cape is ready for elections.

Scores of people queue up to cast their votes at Westerford High School in Rondebosch in Cape Town. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - This morning thousands of polling stations across the nation will open, marking the start of South Africa's fifth democratic elections.

More than 25 million people are registered to vote nationally and over 20,000 voting stations are to open their doors at 7am.

A PEACEFUL ELECTION

Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba said he hoped today's election process will be peaceful.

Makgoba is one of several mediators who will be monitoring polling stations across the Western Cape today.

He is the Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission's chairperson in the province.

The commission comprises various members from civil society groups, who will spend the day visiting polling stations and will intervene if conflict situations arise.

The arch will hold a prayer service at the IEC's offices in Bellville South before setting off to various voting stations this morning.

Meanwhile, police are doing a clean sweep of the IEC's premises while electoral officials arrive to prepare for the big day ahead.

DISILLUSIONED VOTERS

A University of The Western Cape (UWC) academic says she is concerned many voters are disillusioned.

While millions are headed to the polls today, statistics indicate there's a sharp decline in voter enthusiasm compared to 1994.

Political analyst Cherrel Africa says she doesn't believe smaller parties will erode the big political names at the polls today.

"The trend is toward the larger parties. The other parties would pick up what's left over"

Some Capetonians say they are excited to be casting their ballots.

Eyewitness news spoke to some potential voters.

One woman says, "I am not really sure about politics, I am not interested,"

While one man says, "I am voting for the African National Congress."

Another woman speaks about the election posters, "You see the posters up and you see there are so many. Its good marketing and I am sure it helps brainwash some people."

PARTIES

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it's confident it will retain the Western Cape.

One of the bigger occurrences in the 2009 polls was when the official opposition took over the Cape from the African National Congress (ANC).

Political parties had to wrap up their electioneering at midnight.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille visited several areas of the Mother City in the final few hours of the DA's election campaign on Tuesday.

"We must never take the voters for granted. We must give them an opportunity to decide for themselves. But, in general and just from the warm response that we received, I am really positive that The DA will govern the province again."

Watch the DA's final election rally.

But the ANC's Songezo Mjongile believes this is the ruling party's time to win back the province.

"We would like to be in the same position we were in in 2004, where the ANC started going… The ultimate thing is that the ANC wants to be victorious in the Western Cape."

Watch the ANC's final election rally in the Western Cape.

Political newcomer, the Patriotic Alliance (PA) said it hoped to leave a footprint in the Cape following the elections.

The party's spokesperson Charles Cilliers said the PA hopes the elections will be free and fair.

"We're looking at Manenberg, Mitchells Plain, Kraaifontein, Elsies River, basically throughout the whole of Cape Town and where we've got a presence."

At the same time, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) is also confident of its chances at the polls.

The party's Premier candidate for the Western Cape, Ferlon Christians, said, "All our work has been done. We're happy with the responses we got and we believe we will do exceedingly well."

Former President Thabo Mbeki urges South Africans to vote.

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

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus