There were no IEC marshalls present to assist and the slow moving line saw voters turn to amusing themselves while shuffling along to make their mark.
The vibe was muted, as everyone would probably rather be somewhere else on a hot summer’s day, but there was a sense of duty amongst people and chatter about broken promises and corruption easily overheard during the two hour or so wait.
“There are just no party agents to help manage the queue,” says a frustrated DA party agent who, along with ActionSA, looked for eligible folk to move to the front of the line and led into the voting station by the ActionSA rep.
“We are breaking the rules a bit here, but the presiding officer is really of no help,” said another party agent.
Local councillor Simon Lapping walked the queue, greeting voters and elbow bumping the socially distanced and masked up community members. “Hopefully all waiting to vote for the DA,” he smiled.
Lapping looked exhausted and after a few smiled, headed off to other polling stations in his ward and to finish prepping lunch for his volunteers.
What looked like the Freedom Front candidate was marching up and down the street, but never really going anywhere, her expression so stern it may take more than a few votes to crack a smile. The EFF and the ANC were present only on their posters when The Citizen visited the voting station.
Also around the polling station posters appeared of candidates that will probably be a as much a mystery to voters on election day as they would be in years to come. Parties on a long ballot that nobody has heard of.
One family brought a rugby ball along and was passing it between mom, dad and juniors to while away the time. “An enterprising community member could have made a fortune here today,” smiled another mom who said she wished she had thought of vending boerie rolls and drinks.
Two strangers a little further on in the queue discussed the terrible twos of their toddlers.
What was surprising in the two-hour stint at the Summerfields station was that the queue did not get any shorter. It maintained what looked like a 1000 metre stretch, translating into about a 2 hour wait with the pace plodding along. But it’s worth it.
The feeling after making your mark and having a say, albeit how small, still creates hope for South Africans in what seems to be a vibrant democracy. Well, that’s if the line-chatter is anything to go by. Insofar turnout, says Lapping, it’s a bit early to tell.