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4% vote in Vuwani

After the voter apathy the community of Vuwani displayed on election day, the IEC in Limpopo confirmed on Thursday that only 1,600 out of 40 000 registered people voted during the local government elections.

According to reports by the IEC, all wards in Vuwani had been accounted for with one voting station posting a turnout of 7 residents.

While most of South Africa was out casting their votes on Wednesday, residents of Vuwani elected to spend their time at several activities such as soccer games which had been organised to encourage a stay-away from voting stations.

Residents vowed to boycott the elections when earlier in the year they lost a high court bid to have their area reinstated under the Makhado Municipalityand prevent a merger with the Malamulele municipality. The decision of the merger led to scenes of violence including the torching of 24 schools.

ANC NEC member Faith Muthambi on Thursday said there was a general lack of education about what municipal demarcation, which led to panic by the people of Vuwani.

“As government we will continue to engage with them so that they understand. South Africa is a unitary state and demarcation is done for administrative purposes but people still belong to South Africa and on our part as government, there is a need to explain to the community how matters of demarcation work,” said Muthambi speaking at the IEC results centre in Polokwane.

“We believe through negotiation this government has done a lot to quell frustration and open dialogue for people to find an amicable solution. We have to have two way communication. We listen to the communities. The community also has a right to voice how they believe things should be done,” she said.

Muthambi said despite the low voter turn out in Vuwani, she was confident that post elections, government would be able to engage with residents and find a long-term solution to the friction.

“I am confident that the Inter-ministerial-committee will make sure at the end of the day that there is stability in the area and people go back to their normal lives,” said Muthambi.

Meanwhile as of 11am on Thursday, voting results indicated that the ANC was leading in the Limpopo province with 66.6% of the vote followed by the EFF at 16.6% and the DA trailing at 10.4%.

In the Makhado municipality to which Vuwani belongs, the ANC had secured an overwhelming majority at 75% and the DA managed to get 10.6% while the EFF closely trailed with 10%.