On the eve of the national election, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has announced it is ready to handle any arising security threats and issues, and also protect those who will be voting.

In a joint special media briefing held in Durban this morning, provincial MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomsa Dube-Ncube, announced that her department is working jointly with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to ensure that rapid response teams handle anticipated sporadic protests.

“In addition to the SAPS team, we’ve also know put a team of HODs and DGs from various sector departments who’ve now been given specific tasks of ensuring that we respond immediately. The Joint Operating Center that is stationed at eThekwini Disaster Management Center is still operational. So the SAPS and all other sector department that form part of the Disaster Management Team are still active,” said MEC Nomsa-Dube Ncube.

Speaking at the same media briefing, SAPS Spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker urged those who choose to exercise their constitutionally protected right to protest, to not disturb those who have elected to exercise their equally constitutionally protected right to vote freely.

“People must go out in numbers tomorrow and vote. They must not be intimidated by any threats that they may hear in social media or communities. We will secure the routes that are used by the voters to voting stations. As the Joint Operation Intelligent Structure we will ensure that people vote peacefully,” said Colonel Jay Naicker.

Colonel Jay Naicker, spokesperson of KZN SAPS says they, in collaboration with other provincial structures, are more than ready to ensure peaceful voting on May 8.

Tightening of security within the eThekwini Metro follows a prolonged strike by municipal workers affiliated to the South African Municipal Workers Union. The strike started on April 26, and despite a call by authorities for workers to report to work, workers have not returned to work yet.

The past few weeks have been a pain for provincial authorities in KZN with the intense and violent protest action and political killings.

Police Minister Bheki Cele subsequently announced that KZN along with the North West province will receive additional policing during election week. (Edited by Philile Masango)