- Between Tuesday afternoon at 4pm and Wednesday morning 5am, South Africa experienced Stage 2 loadshedding that was expected to affect vote counting
- The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) stated that it would work hard to complete counting regardless, and it did
- The IEC made use of fully charged laptops and portable lights to assist them in working through the night to achieve this goal
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On Tuesday afternoon at 4pm, loadshedding resumed at Stage 2. By this time, 58% of the votes from Monday's local government elections had been counted.
The IEC's goal was to count 90% of the votes by Tuesday night. However, loadshedding affected the speed at which they could achieve this.
According to SABC News, Sy Mamabolo, the CEO of the IEC, said that the commission had been in talks with Eskom regarding the effects of loadshedding on the electoral process and the importance of vote counting sites not experiencing power outages.
IEC officials work hard to achieve goals
Khayakazi Magudumana, Eastern Cape provincial electoral officer, told City Press that despite being concerned about the consequences of loadshedding during vote counting, IEC staff were prepared to work all night to capture election results.
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IEC staff members were instructed to ensure their laptops were charged and that they had access to portable lights so that vote counting could continue in the event of loadshedding at the Election Results Centre.
“We are prepared because when we heard about loadshedding at 11am, we were able to disseminate that information to all the offices in the province to say they should charge lights, laptops and be ready to capture," said Magudumana.
Reactions to loadshedding during vote counting
South Africans have tweeted their opinions regarding the effects of loadshedding on the electoral process. Here are some people's thoughts:
"Life goes on... Just after election day the fuel prices increase, loadshedding commences."
"School children could have counted the votes, that would've been quicker too."
"Thank you that the turn-out was low. If it was high, it might have taken the @IECSouthAfrica until next year to count the votes."
"The state of our country where #loadshedding is hampering the counting process of the #Elections2021, its a clear sign that things needs to change asap, #SouthAfrica can do better than this, c'mon..."
Low voter turnout decreases ANC's chances
While the bulk of the votes had not been counted by Tuesday afternoon, the ANC admitted losing several wards to opposition parties and independent candidates in the province.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) made gains in Endumeni and Emadlangeni while the DA created history with an outright win of uMngeni.
Source: Briefly News