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ANC, DA: Ballot paper shortages in WC could cost us votes

The two biggest parties in the province have been engaged in a final desperate push to get supporters to voting stations before they close.

Over 800 people have cast their vote at the Hector Peterson Library in Lwandle, Cape Town. Over 2000 people are expected to vote at this station today. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Both the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape are concerned that ballot paper shortages experienced in the province could cost them votes.

The two biggest parties in the province have been engaged in a final desperate push to get supporters to voting stations before they close.

Doors are supposed to remain open beyond the 9pm cut-off time if there are still people queuing inside a voting station precinct.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) in the province said its greatest challenge was getting ballot papers to voting stations that had run out because of the high number of people voting at stations where they weren’t registered.

Wednesday’s cold and wet weather was already expected to have affected turnout. But ballot papers running out had upped the stakes.

The head of the ANC’s legal and monitoring task team in the Western Cape Hishaam Mohamed said the party’s strongholds on the Cape Flats had been affected.

“We know at least four or five voting districts in Nyanga, we know of 13 in Khayelitsha affected – another 10 in the Mfuleni and Philippi area – which are all our base areas,” said Mohamed.

DA officials told Eyewitness News that at 6pm, an entire central Cape Town ward was without ballot papers and that there’d also been problems in the Northern Suburbs, around Bonteheuwel and in Mitchells Plain.

The IEC blamed delays on the legal requirement for a police escort when ballot papers are transported, with provincial electoral officer Courtney Sampson insisting the problem was not widespread.

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