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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Elections 2024: The hour arrives for South Africa as millions of voters decide

More than 26 million South Africans are registered to vote in the country’s national and provincial elections.

South Africans have already started to line up to cast their ballots in South Africa’s 7th general elections.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said it is ready for the elections, expected to be the most highly contested polls 30 years after democracy.

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All systems go

More than 26 million South Africans are registered to vote in the country’s national and provincial elections.

IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said its all systems go for voters to choose leaders for the seventh administration.

“The Commission urges all 26 million eligible voters to go out and cast their votes. The network of 23,292 voting stations will open for voting at 07h00 and close at 21h00. It is important to emphasise that eligible voters who will be at the voting station at 21h00 will be allowed to vote and not turned away.

“We reiterate that voters must vote where they are registered. The general rule in elections is that a person votes at a voting station where they have registered,” Mamabolo said.

Mamabolo said the IEC is also ready to administer elections at all correctional services facilities throughout the country.

“Plans have been finalised with the Department of Correctional Services to ensure that eligible inmates can exercise their right to vote.”

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Meanwhile, the South African Weather Service (SAWS) has also forecast fair to good weather conditions across the country.

However, the IEC said it has taken the necessary steps to manage the potential negative effect of inclement weather on the voting and counting processes.

No load shedding

Eskom has given assurances that there are no plans for scheduled maintenance work or load shedding in the period around voting day.

The IEC said instances of power outages must be reported to Eskom in the normal course to enable effective responses.

Home Affairs

The commission also assured voters who may need identity documents that the Department of Home Affairs will operate all its offices between 07h00 to 21h00 to facilitate collection of identity documents and the issuance of temporary identification certificates.

The IEC said it is confident that all preparations are in place for free, fair elections.

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