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Wednesday, 29 May 2024 10:38

Ramaphosa and his wife cast their votes at Hitekani Primary School in Soweto.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

More than 27 million South Africans are registered to cast their ballots in a poll that highlights growing political fragmentation after 30 years of democracy.

According to data from the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), a total of 27.753,059 South Africans registered to vote, with a gender distribution of 44.76% men and 55.24% women.

The country hosts 1,792 registered political parties vying for the vote of these 27 million South Africans.

Gauteng is the country's most significant voting province, with 6.5 million registered voters, closely followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 5.7 million.

The Eastern Cape follows with 3.4 million voters, Western Cape with 3.3 million, Limpopo with 2.7 million, Mpumalanga with 2 million, North West with 1.7 million, Free State with 1.4 million, and Northern Cape with 657,000.

Special voters took to the polls on Monday and Tuesday, but not without glitches.

This is apart from the taxi protests in the Eastern Cape that led to the closure of some voting stations. The IEC is working with the Natjoints to ensure citizens in the province can vote in a safe environment.

Two people were also arrested on Tuesday for allegedly tampering with ballot boxes at two voting stations in Mpumalanga.

IEC officials were allegedly accosted by a group of people at voting stations in the Steve Tshwete and Chief Albert Luthuli municipalities.

In KwaZulu-Natal, two police officers were removed from election deployment and face disciplinary action. This after video footage emerged of them at a voting station, with one wearing party regalia, police revealed Tuesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife Tshepo Motsepe casted their votes at Hitekani Primary School in Soweto.

Ramaphosa says confident that people will vote for the ANC. He says under his leadership, the ruling party has gone to the breadth and lengths of the country to encourage people to vote.

ActionSA president Herman Mashaba has casted his ballot at the Sandton Fire Station.

Mashaba says Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi and ANC will not return in office.

Lesufi is expected to vote at the Thuto Ke Matla Engineering School of Specialisation in Thembisa.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has casted his vote at Northwood Boys in Durban North, Kwazulu-Natal.

Steenhuisen addressed reporters outside the Northwood Boys school, saying issues including poor governance, corruption and state capture made his party at odds with the governing ANC. 

"I don't think we're going to solve the problems of South Africa by keeping the same people around the same table, making the same bad decisions for the same bad results," he said.

The DA's KZN premier candidate Chris Pappas voted his special vote at Thembelihle Primary School in Howick.

Addressing the media after casting his vote, Pappas said voters in KZN shouldn't lose faith in democracy as a vehicle that can bring change.

He added that today is not just a public holiday, but the most important day for the next five years.

"Change requires each one of us to be brave and take a conscious decision to stop doing things the same way we have been doing in the past."

"Be brave on election day. If things are not working, lets change the way we do things so we can have a chance to rebuild our province and to see something different in the future," said Pappas.

UDM leader and the party's Eastern Cape Premier candidate, Bantu Holomisa, experienced a glitch when his name did not appear on the voter's roll at the Mthatha Town Hall this morning.

Holomisa was directed to Mthatha General Hospital by IEC staff members where he eventually cast his vote.

Former president Kgalema Motlanthe votes at Killarney Country Club. This voting station will also see former president Thabo Mbeki cast his vote at around 11:30 and has previously seen the late first democratic president Nelson Mandela vote here too.

The Houghton area, which this district falls under, has seen three South African presidents reside within its demarcation. 

EFF leader Julius Malema will cast his vote in his Seshego home town, while his Deputy President Floyd Shivambu is expected to cast his vote in Mofolo, Soweto.