South Africa: Long Lines Mean Late Voting for South Africans

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
29 May 2024

Cape Town — Reports of South Africans standing in long lines waiting to cast their ballots will likely lead to delays in some districts. However, the law allows voters in line at the voting station's closing time - 9pm - to remain in line to vote. Most South Africans are returning from work at restaurants and retail stores on what was declared a public holiday.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo spoke about a "late surge" in metropolitan areas in Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape" during their final press briefing. Several complaints on the IEC's Facebook page included too few ballot boxes and faulty marking pens.

Mamabolo ruled out a second day of voting:  "There are no deliberate delays on the part of the commission, we want to assist everyone in the queue. We have no plan for a second day of voting. Voting will happen until it concludes and until everyone in the queue (by 9pm) is given an opportunity to vote," he said.

This year's election marks 30 years since all South Africans were given the right to vote.

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