18 May 2011
Government expresses great satisfaction with the collective efforts of departments in ensuring the success registered thus far in rolling out the fourth democratic local government elections under the auspices and leadership of the Independent Electoral Commission.
Our security agencies have been on high alert and we congratulate the men and women in uniform and others in the security community who have worked tirelessly to ensure that all voters feel and are safe to cast their ballots. Of particular note is the prompt response by security officials in isolated places where individuals or small groups sought to be disruptive. Government reiterates that local government elections are the place for people to express their views and the institutions of the municipalities currently being put in place are legitimate ones through which grievances may be channelled.
Government has noted the statement by the Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs that through the Local Government Turnaround Strategy and efforts to improve the legislative and financial framework of municipalities, a very robust local government sphere constantly improving will characterise the post-election period. As such, the public confidence we have seen in the massive voter turnout, will be rewarded.
The Department of Home Affairs has similarly put every effort into ensuring that its offices were on high alert throughout the day enabling South Africans to access temporary identity documents (IDs) as well as collect those IDs which were issued and were still awaiting collection. By mid-morning already:
i. IDs collected nationwide: 2 919
ii. Temporary Identity Certificates (TICs) issued nationwide: 436
iii. TICs extended nationwide: 16
iv. Applications received nationwide: 294
In a few places where pre-election discontent had been experienced such as Balfour in Mpumalanga and Maqhaka in the Free State, voters expressed their democratic right to vote and made their cross on the ballot papers.
The South African Weather Service has constantly been on hand to ensure that accurate weather forecasts were provided contributing to the preparedness by all involved in ensuring the success of the 2011 Local Government Elections.
The Department of Health has been on high alert throughout the day and any medical emergencies lodged from polling stations with the national 10 177 emergency call centre or the various security coordination structures, received priority attention and dispatch. As at 16:00 hours only four (4) minor medical emergencies which arose, were addressed.
Eskom – all the power stations, sub-stations and transmission stations have been on alert to prevent any kind of systems breakdown and as a result no power outages were experienced. The two minor outages this morning were as a result of problems in the specific municipalities and were quickly addressed. Overall Eskom did very well in ensuring a constant power supply to ensure the success of the election.
At local government level our safety and security agencies have been on high alert today and aligned their plans with those of other safety agencies around the country to ensure safe voting arrangements for all South Africans.
Jimmy Manyi (Cabinet Spokesperson)
Cell: 082 379 3454
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)