Voting day woes

Westlake Village octogenarian, Lena Jokazi left happy, saying her vote counted and the voting process was so quick and clear.

Votes were still being counted in the Constantia valley’s three wards, 52, 71 and 73, at the time of publishing, however results at the time showed the Democratic Alliance was leading.

At the Alphen and Constantia Primary School voting stations the DA were leading in Ward 62 with 91.85% of the votes followed by the ANC with 2.19% and the Good party with 2.07%.

In Ward 71, only the results for Westlake were available with the DA taking 42.71% of the votes, the ANC 35.54% followed by the EFF with 10.33%.

In Ward 73, only results at Meadowridge library were available with 93.65% going to the DA, 2.45% to the Good party and 0.92% to the ACDP.

In the 2016 elections the DA took all three wards with Ward 62 at 92.2%, Ward 71 took 88.27% and Ward 73 taking 96.13% of the votes cast.

Sweeping rain, sporadic wind and glitches on the electronic equipment of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on Monday deterred some residents from making their mark while others returned to the polling queue later in the day.

At Southfield library, Cheryl Townsend of Plumstead said a colleague was not voting because of the rain. Ms Townsend always votes, saying “it’s our duty.” She voted for change as she is “sick of the corruption and wants to know where our rates and taxes go”.

Terry Peterson of Plumstead said the Western Cape is the best-run province in the country. However, there are new interesting parties this time. During the pandemic one party stood out and unrivalled many questions she had, more than the DA did. Ms Petersen said she is voting for a party not a person.

Gavin Lawson, also from Plumstead, said it took about 10 minutes to “do his duty”. He voted for a person after doing much reading and listening to comments.

At Plumstead Cricket Club in Victoria Road, the Cohen family were celebrating democracy as a family. Voting with the heart, according to mum Jean Cohen who was there with Peter, Ariel and Robin Cohen. They were voting for a party and not a person.

Natanya Stroh has lived in Plumstead for 21 years and said her vote can change a lot. The party she was voting for is doing a good job and proven themselves, she said.

Tania Hendricks said if we don’t vote nothing will happen. She was voting for a party. Her son Jordan said he was there for moral support and would be voting next time.

Jill and James Gribble of Plumstead did not have a clue who was standing except for the poster outside their gate with a woman on it. Mr Gribble joked that he was voting for the Alibaba party where there are only 40 thieves. Ms Gribble said she was voting for the party that works unlike pictures she has seen of places where there is sewage in the streets.

At South Peninsula High School, Malcolm Russell said things were disorganised when he arrived and he had spent much time in the queue. When he realised that inside the hall the queue was split into two alphabetically he organised for the waiting outside to split into two queues. He said no provision was made for the elderly. Mr Russell said he has travelled a lot in Africa and does not want to see South Africa going the same way. The Western Cape is well-run and has the cleanest audit overall.

Karen Woodcock of Diep River was happy to be there. “Everyone is on the same page for once but some things need to be addressed: refuse collection, the cost of electricity and water and the way the poor are being treated. But there are so many parties and the votes could be thinned out dramatically,” said Ms Woodcock.

At the Cape Academy of Maths Science and Technology, Carolynne Franklin standing for the DA in Ward 71, said this is not a free and fair election. She said the scanners kept going down and the IEC refused to put a line through voters’ names. And in some cases, people living in the same house had to vote at different voting stations.

Tim Eccles of Hout Bay admitted to not being politically clued and is sceptical of claims made by candidates. He is also cynical about the media. His concern is that during the pandemic homelessness has exploded with more people at robots, not just begging but desperate. He said it is getting progressively worse and there is a need for places for the homeless to stay, skills programmes and food. During our conversation an IEC official said the scanners were down and this happens when it rains.

Some had come prepared to queue. Sandra Hewitson was reading a book. Her concerns are refuse removal, sewage and becoming independent from Eskom by using natural energy sources such as wind and solar.

At Westlake Village, despite opening 30 minutes late because of technical problems, the use of sanitiser and physical distancing were evident and the layout was good, making it the best-run voting station in the district. Octogenarian Lena Jokazi left happy, saying her vote counted and it was so quick and clear.

Moving slowly at South Peninsula High School.

Tim Eccles of Hout Bay is concerned that during the pandemic homelessness has exploded with more people at robots, not just begging but desperate.
Some were prepared for the queues, Sandra Hewitson at the Cape Academy of Maths Science and Technology.
Voters being scanned at Constantia Primary School.
Votes from the Alphen Centre have been counted.
A family affair… At Plumstead Cricket Club in Victoria Road, the Cohen family were celebrating democracy as a family, Peter, Ariel and Robin with mum Jean Cohen.
In between showers, Wiehann Smith, Natanya Stroh and Mila Grace Stroh at Plumstead Cricket Club.
The Hendricks family at Plumstead Cricket Club, Jordan, Denver, Tanya and Catherine.