SAHRC says voting went smoothly despite several minor challenges



Published Jun 3, 2024


The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it observed that elections proceeded smoothly, and minor challenges monitored did not affect the overall declaration of the elections as free and fair.

The SAHRC observed the elections on May 27, 28, and 29, including 161 voting stations, and gathered 98 reflections from human rights officials.

“Our preliminary observations revealed that operationally, 83% of voting stations observed opened on time, and 98% of ballot boxes were assembled in the presence of party agents and observers, although some party agents arrived late. Additionally, 95% of stations had all essential materials, including ballot papers and pens.

“Most voters took more than 30 minutes to complete their voting process: 16% took two hours or longer, 46% took 30–90 minutes, and 38% took less than 10 minutes,” the SAHRC said.

The SAHRC observed that 70% of voting stations had connectivity issues.

In terms of accessibility, 83% of people with disabilities were able to vote independently, though only 40 stations scored a 10/10 for accessibility. About 87% of polling stations had measures in place for the elderly, pregnant persons, and other special categories.

Security incidents were minimal; no significant issues were observed, and minor issues such as inebriated voters, raised tempers, or party agent interference were promptly addressed by the SAPS, the commission said.

“The SAHRC is aware that the elections do not occur without minor glitches. Some voting centres experienced slow-moving queues extending into the early hours of the following day, and some voters were turned away, unable to exercise their democratic right due to administrative challenges of registration.

“In some areas voters could not cast their vote due to strike. The IEC also reported a missing ballot box in uMhlathuze ward 14, KwaZulu-Natal, which fortunately had already been counted,” the SAHRC said.

“Our preliminary concerns include the adverse impact of the three-ballot process on turnaround time.”

Cape Times