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49 polling stations in Western Cape marked high risk: Police – SABC News

Time to read: 3 minutes

Western Cape police say they are up to the task at hand in ensuring the national elections are secure. Dozens of agents on foot, on horseback and by air, among others, will be deployed in the more than 1,500 polling stations throughout the province. Of them, 49 stations have been marked as high risk.

The SAPS says it is ready to ensure that everyone who can and wants to vote does so safely. Voting stations are divided into three categories of high, medium and low risk.

However, by far the majority are considered to be low risk. Areas that could be of concern will see increased deployment of SAPS members.

SAPS Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile says reaction teams that can respond immediately will be ready in the vicinity of all constituencies.

“We will continue normal surveillance in the areas to ensure there is visibility. In partnership with all our stakeholders, the CPF, the neighborhood watch, the community and all other stakeholders, the law enforcement, the metropolitan police and the traffic department. Therefore, we are with all our strength to ensure that there is peace, a safe environment and harmony during the electoral period.”

SAPS Western Cape ready for secure elections: Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile

The Electoral Commission (IEC) in the Western Cape says an incident where property was stolen two weeks ago was resolved within 12 hours.

An arrest was made and the IEC assets were returned.

While no voting materials were delivered at the time, security has since been beefed up at all polling stations.

“In addition, with the support of the SAPS, all our material is being safeguarded. Where we escort them, they are there to help us escort us and ensure that all of our materials ultimately arrive safely at the voting station, but also, more importantly, that they will be returned from those voting stations once it is completed voting,” says Michael Hendrickse, Western Cape. IEC Election Officer.

The IEC has expressed confidence that the SAPS will do everything possible to ensure that the elections are safe and secure for all participants.

The SAPS says several factors determine whether a polling station is high risk or not. Includes, but is not limited to, political intolerance, serious crime and service delivery issues.

“Have you been informed that there could be problems throughout the province… relatively not? We have no threats that we have identified that require special attention at this time. As we move forward, until the last person votes and it closes, we continue to do a threat risk assessment all the time,” adds Patekile.

Stakeholders include provincial and municipal law enforcement agencies.

“For our part, we are very clear that we want each and every person eligible to vote to eventually reach a voting station. So where the South African Police Service should have visibility and presence will be an integration between the metropolitan police, jump officers and also some traffic routes,” says Reagen Allen, MEC Police Oversight and Community Safety.

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