Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Countdown to election kick-off

By Mikhaila Crowie
21 April 2009

The Independent Electoral Commission says not even bad weather will prevent it from making it possible for all of South Africa’s more than 20-million registered voters to have their say tomorrow.

Predictions of heavy rainfall in KwaZulu-Natal, snow on the Drakensberg and wind and rain in the Eastern Cape have raised fears that ballot papers may not be able to be delivered or that tents at temporary election stations could be blown away.

Electoral officials say helicopters are on stand-by to deliver ballot papers and contingency plans are in place should poor weather prevent them from flying.

IEC chairperson Brigalia Bam, who will have little time to celebrate her birthday today, says they are doing everything in their power to counter the effects of bad weather.

Bam has described the enthusiasm shown by South Africans living abroad in voting at missions last week as “incredible”.

All seven-thousand-427 people registered in London brought out their votes.

Bam says the IEC is confident the enthusiasm will be felt in South Africa tomorrow too.

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