KwaZulu-Natal – 17 polling stations in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province failed to open to voters over four hours after the official opening time, due to ongoing protests.

A total of ten of these stations are in eBhethani in Bergville (4 stations) and Entabamhlophe in Escourt (6 stations) in the Uthukela District. Election staff were unable to open at 7a.m. along with the rest of the country as residents protested fiercely.

Protesting residents want the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to address what they say is a critical issue for them – the issue of housing.

In a media briefing at the national Results Operation Center at noon today, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) confirmed that there were delays in the opening of 17 polling stations in the KZN province.

“By 11h30 today, only 17 voting stations remained unopened due to access challenges. 14 of these were in the southern coast of KwaZulu-Natal. The Electoral Commission is working closely with security agencies supported by government departments to open these stations as soon as possible and cafe for voters and election staff,” said IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo.

Mamabolo said the IEC will consider extending voting hours in the affected areas. Nqubeko FM, KwaZulu-Natal (Edited by Philile Masango)