A rainbow shone across the foothills of Table Mountain on Wednesday May 8 as the country voted. Many in the queue to vote at Muizenberg High School doffed their woolly hats to the rainbow, saying how appropriate it was for the so-called rainbow nation.
Voters spent an average of an hour in the queue at Muizenberg High, but the hours were much longer for Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) staff and party agents.
Many had arrived at 6am to set up stands and support voters.
Lorraine Moko was the ANC’s branch election team co-ordinator for Ward 64. Helped by her husband, Andile, she was still there, still smiling, at 5.30pm when the False Bay Echo went back to check in on the day’s progress.
“This is the first time I have been involved in this way, and it’s very exciting.”
She said the day had been marked by a good mood overall and a generosity of spirit between the workers at the different political stands.
There had been no heckling, and the different political parties had even helped one another set up their stands.
“It is very important to have this good-naturedness between us all. For our part, as the ANC representatives, we cannot say we want to grow our country together and then not show that in our lives; we have to live what we say and be a good example,” she said.
Marlon van Niekerk was manning the stand for the ACDP. It was also his first time. He lives in Pelican Park and was at Muizenberg High School at 5.30am. He said the ACDP’s manifesto struck home with him and that he believed in “Godly governance”. “Its been quite a joyful day – absolutely no troubles between anyone, and it’s been really good to meet and speak to such a variety of people. I will definitely do this again next time,” he said.
Carole Ward was at the DA stand and said it had been an interesting first-time experience.
“There has also been no aggression from anyone nor any party,” Ms Ward said.
Asked if she would work again at the next election she quipped: “If I am still alive in five years time, sure.”
Across the vlei, Mohammed Samodien, of Mitchell’s Plain, was directing people at the Zandvlei Yacht Club voting station.
He said he had been surprised to see how many elderly people had come out to vote.
“I know there was a special day for people with disabilities, but so many just came today. It makes you realise what people face on a daily basis. It motivated me to see them making the effort when other people who have no physical challenges give a lot of excuses.”
Patience was his big take-home lesson for the day.
“Sjoe you just need to be patient when you work with people. It’s all been a great experience. I definitely want to do this again next time,” he said.
At the door of the yacht club, Faisal Slamdien was scanning ID books.
He said he had been a bit nervous to begin with as it was his first time in the job.
“Everyone was super excited to be here and to exercise their right to vote.”