Election experts begin unpacking implications of low voter turnout

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Monday night said that about 30% of registered voters turned out as many opted to stay home for various reasons.

Voters queue at a voting station on 1 November 2021. Picture: Theto Mahlakoana/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - As the election results trickle in, South Africans have begun unpacking the implications of the unprecedented low voter turnout.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Monday night said that about 30% of registered voters turned out as many opted to stay home for various reasons.

With close to 900,000 votes counted so far, electoral experts have started asking serious questions about what the country should make of the turnout figures from Monday.

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Residents in different townships, where it appears that the lowest numbers were recorded, told Eyewitness News of difficulty understanding what was in it for them once they voted as experience had taught them otherwise.

"I don't know if they're here, if they're here, there would be changes already. How many years are we in democracy? It's been long years," one resident said.

Questions are now being asked about the risk of a threat to the legitimacy of those who will make it to public office if indeed the final turnout figures are as dismal as current projections.

Of the results that are in, the nationally governing African National Congress (ANC) has clinched just two councils.

WATCH: 2021 elections: less excitement and shorter queues

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