By Nabeelah Mohedeen
The DA has won in all six wards in the Athlone News distribution area but with support that plunged across the board and by more than 20 percentage points in some cases.
In Ward 46, the DA’s Aslam Cassiem won with 53.13% of the votes, followed by the ANC with 9.07% and Al Jama-ah with 8.93%. This ward covers Gatesville, Hatton, Newfields, Rylands, Sand Industria, and Surrey Estate. In 2016, the DA won with 74%.
In Ward 47, Hanover Park, the DA’s Antonio van der Rheede won with 52.63%, followed by the Patriotic Alliance with 17.95% and the Cape Coloured Congress (CCC) with 7.01%. In 2016, the DA won with 77.71%.
In Ward 48, the the DA’s Zahid Badroodien won with 54.91%, followed by Good with 5.94% and Al-Jama-ah with 7.48%. The ward covers Belgravia, Belthorn Estate, Mountview, Penlyn Estate, and Pinati Estate. In 2016, the DA won with 79.35%.
In Ward 49, the DA’s Rashid Adams won with 70,16%, followed by Good with 5.94% and the CCC with 4.58%. The ward covers Hazendal, Kewtown, and Silvertown. In the 2016, the DA won with 77.45%.
In Ward 50, Bonteheuwel, the DA’s Angus McKenzie won with 66.95%, followed by the CCC with 6.93% and the Africa Restoration Alliance with 4.11%. In 2016, the DA won with 84,9% .
In Ward 60, the DA’s Mark Kleinschmidt won with 56.16%, followed by Good with 7.16% and Al-Jama-ah close behind with 7%. The ward covers Lansdowne, Mowbray, Rondebosch East and Sybrand Park. In the 2016, the DA won with 75.33%.
Community of Bonteheuwel Association chairman Abie Clayton said ward councillors should deliver on their promises and residents wanted to see action on the development of the Bonteheuwel town centre, road repairs and housing.
“We are quite happy that the Angus McKenzie has won again, and we will certainly be following up with questions about all the things that was promised to us. We want to know what will be done and when,” he said.
Meanwhile some voters complained that they had had to stand in the rain and cold in long queues and Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) staff had been rude, inconsiderate, and disrespectful.
Zaida Martin, of Belgravia, who voted at Belgravia High School, said that she had stood in the queue for three hours and had gotten soaked in the rain as there had been no shelter for voters.
She said an IEC staffer had blamed the hold-up on a malfunctioning computer tablet used to check voters’ details, but when the staffer had asked for another device, an IEC official had told her that “the people should just wait in the line because after all it was a public holiday”.
Ms Martin said there had been no chairs for voters, and she claimed that IEC staff had fallen asleep at times, that several voting booths had been left unoccupied, that there had been no social distancing and that there had been no privacy for voters as they had given ID numbers and other sensitive information to IEC staff.
Mareldia Galant, of Athlone, said she had stood in line for two hours to vote at Athlone Baptist Church in Pliny Street.
“I asked the lady working there why the line was so long and she said that the tablet kept going off line. They had one tablet and one person working it. It was a complete disaster. I asked them how long it would take. She said she had no idea. So many people just turned around and left. It feels like you don’t want to vote anymore.”
Provincial electoral officer Michael Hendrickse said: “We take considerable care in appointing staff to manage voting stations on behalf of the IEC, coupled with comprehensive training of the voting process, which includes the management of voters through the voting station. The IEC will be doing everything possible to ensure that such incidents do not repeat itself with future election events.”