Scanner glitch slows voting in Buffalo City stations

East London abuzz with election fever

Children play as voters lineup at Amalinda forest yesterday. The station only opened at 9am
Children play as voters lineup at Amalinda forest yesterday. The station only opened at 9am
Image: MARK ANDREWS

From the Eastern Cape Premier to local car guards and first-time voters, East London was buzzing on Wednesday morning as individuals flocked to voting stations around the city.

Over 70 people queued at City Hall by 7 am, with some arriving as early as 5:30 am.

"I was the first one to arrive today and I even left my wife at the hospital so I could come and cast my vote," said 32 year old Jalil Abbas whose wife was in labour on Wednesday morning.

"It's so important to use your right and vote. I hope that the government will grow our economy and boost tourism, especially in the Eastern Cape," he said.

By 8am, Nutting Hall in Stirling had seen over 200 people cast their votes.

"It's been going very well so far. We've been here since 6am to set up and we've organised a gazebo for voters in case it rains later," said DA front-of-house organiser, Susan van Scheltema.

Her colleague, Jean Scott, said that one of the station's scanners stopped working, delaying voting by a few minutes.

"We opened up at about 7.05 am and it's been going well. Everyone seems to be in high spirits but we are waiting for a scanner to be replaced to speed up the process. I recall the same problem with scanners at the last election too," said Scott.

Voting at City Hall was also slowed down by faulty ID scanners.

SAPS spokesperson, Hazel Mqala, who was stationed at City Hall, said: "We're having a problem with a scanner so for those that were not registered to vote at City Hall it's taking a bit longer. But the voting station opened on time and we're taking them in in small groups of three or four."

At Beaconhurst Primary School voting station 19-year-old Emma van der Zee cast her vote for the first time.

"It was really exciting. I feel empowered and like my voice has finally been heard," said Van Der Zee.

Voting alongside her at the same venue was EC Premier Phumulo Masualle and car guard Zinikele Nonose.

Masualle said: "This is a very significant day.  I'm taking responsibility as a citizen in my country. I won't speak as though I have not been in government. I know precisely the effort that has been put in and where there is still a need to do more and I'm sure the next term of government will be prepared to do that."

MadeleineC@dispatch.co.za

Many South Africans woke up bright and early on May 8 2019 to cast their vote at their designated stations. We kept up with the thumb pictures on social media and decided to share some.

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