The forth coming local government elections has seen various political rallies and campaigns. This weekend took a different dimension as political parties were seen criss-crossing the country trying to encourage citizens to register to vote in this year’s local government elections.
The ANC had its own voter registration campaign taken to the interior parts of the rural KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday with the party treasurer general Zweli Mkhize, who was also the former premier, touring the villages in the province’s central highland.
Mkhize who was welcomed in the district of Emaswazini near Taylor’s Halt amidst much fanfare said the campaign trail was geared towards mobilizing the youths.
However the Democratic alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) seem to be determined to exercise all efforts to ensure that the country’s major metros – Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay – are retrieved from the ruling ANC.
DA Johannesburg mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba was seen at the Sandton Fire Station on Sunday checking his registration details. He said he had spent the weekend visiting voting stations around the city and speaking to citizens and that he is exited at the huge turn out of people.
“Honestly, people of this country are ready to make a change, this is going to be another game changer and I think we as the DA are ready for the challenge,” The Black Like Me founder told News24.
The DA Cape Town mayoral candidate Patricia de Lille was also seen taking her tour in Mamre, in the Western Cape on Sunday. Patricia de Lille alongside party agents sang “Zuma out, Mmusi in, we are ready for 2016” as they matched and De Lille went from door to door in the town, speaking to potential voters.
Down to Mpumalanga, things seemed a little different as one of EFF’s party agent was stabbed by a mob during registration.
The party’s provincial command team member Tsepo Mnisi said the incident happened while he and another team member, Maniki Dibakwane, were travelling in a vehicle to check registrations in Ward 23 and the agents were travelling to a registration station in Ward 23 in the Nkomazi region when they were attacked.
“One member is in a critical condition at Tonga Hospital after he was hit with a big stone on his chest and lost consciousness at the scene. The other was pushed against a car with his head and he sustained a bleeding nose,” said Mnisi on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the atmosphere in Pampierstad in the Northern Cape was a little quiet as registration stations have been shut down because community protests in the area were reopened on Sunday.
The protest was not related to the registration process, but had to do with demarcation issues. Residents stormed the three tents, used as temporary registration centres, destroying them, equipment and documents, including the voters’ roll.
However, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said all voting stations were open on Sunday, with fewer than 20 voting stations out of the 22 569 still experiencing glitches which they are trying to resolve.
“Many of the voting stations which were closed yesterday due to community activism were able to open today thanks to the intervention of various stakeholders including the security forces, community leaders and civil society groups which assisted the Electoral Commission,”
“The Electoral Commission is continuing to engage with stakeholders in those areas where some voting stations were still experiencing challenges.” spokesperson Kate Bapela said in a statement.