By ROD AMNER
After a brisk start to voting today, voting stations were quiet this afternoon. And the streets were even more tranquil.
There was a trickle of voters at the Recreation Hall in Albany Road (Ward 4), a handful at Nombulelo High School (Ward 9), and a short queue at the voting station at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church of South Africa, Extension 6 (Ward 11). Just 300 votes had been registered at the Steve Biko Building at Rhodes University by 2 pm.
This matches the national pattern, where voter turn-out has been low.
By 4.30 pm this afternoon, the IEC reported the national voter turn-out at 24%. It was just 22% in the Eastern Cape. Here are the provincial turn-out percentages (ranked from highest to lowest):
- Northern Cape 25.2%
- Western Cape 24.5%
- Free State 23.9%
- Gauteng 23.6%
- KZN 23.4%
- Limpopo 23.2%
- Eastern Cape 22%
- Mpumalanga 20.9%
- North West 20.8%
News24 reported that preliminary voter turn-out data as of 3 pm showed that suburban voter turn-out in Johannesburg surpassed voter turn-out in Soweto by 14%.
News24 elections analyst Dawie Scholtz said low turn-out would likely benefit parties who are more likely to receive suburban votes such as the DA, Freedom Front Plus, and ActionSA, while negatively affecting the ANC.
However, Scholtz cautioned that given the “increasingly radical nature of these numbers”, there may be a lag in the IEC reporting system. “All the turnout figures to date are based on data gathered on the ground and/or data from the IEC system which may be lagging. We need to see some real results tonight to know for sure,” Scholtz said on Twitter.