Over 650 voting stations countrywide identified as hotspots.

Over 650 voting stations countrywide identified as hotspots. Photo: Gallo Images.

650 voting stations identified as hotspots nationwide

the National Joint Operational Structure disclosed during a media briefing that over 650 voting stations are hotspots.

Over 650 voting stations countrywide identified as hotspots.

Over 650 voting stations countrywide identified as hotspots. Photo: Gallo Images.

With the 29 May elections approaching, over 650 voting stations across the country have been identified as hotspots.

Voting stations identified as hotspots

The National Joint Operational Structure disclosed this figure earlier on Sunday during a media briefing on law enforcement’s preparedness for the elections out of approximately 23 000 voting stations nationwide.

According to Eyewitness News, Tebello Mosikili, co-chair of Natjoints, stated that particular attention will be directed towards provinces with a track record of election disruptions. 

However, Mosikili refrained from specifying which provinces are included in this category.

“When we developed the plan, we looked at the previous, the current intelligence, the climate, the maturity of our electorates, and we plan accordingly. So, I don’t want to downplay any of our 9 provinces to say this one is better than the other, but we do have different levels of our focus in those.”

Security teams vigilant at 500 high-risk voting stations

While the JCPS did not disclose specific security plans, Defence Minister Thandi Modise stated that the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) and the Provincial Joint Operation and Intelligence Structure collaborated to ensure coordinated and intelligence-led operational planning for the elections. 

According to the Daily Mavericks, this aimed to effectively address intimidation and violence.

A crime and threat pattern analysis conducted by Natjoints informed the development of the security plan, resulting in a deployment strategy tailored to address potential crime and violence in and around voting stations and result centers.

Police Minister Bheki Cele revealed that out of the 23 000 voting stations nationwide, only 500 were designated high risk. 

However, he did not disclose the specific locations of these stations or elaborate on detailed plans to mitigate violence, intimidation, and unrest.

When questioned about the number of law enforcement officers to be deployed to voting stations nationwide on 29 May, Cele declined to provide specific figures, stating only that there would be a sufficient police presence.

In South Africa, incarcerated individuals can register and cast their votes. The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and the Department of Correctional Services have urged families of inmates to ensure that their loved ones have access to their identification documents to facilitate this process.

The Justice, Crime Prevention, and Security Cluster revealed on Sunday the implementation of a strategy to monitor high-risk areas during elections.

The national joint operational and intelligence structure formulated the plan, drawing upon an analysis of threats and crime patterns.

Fouché Burgers, the executive project manager of Business Against Crime South Africa, emphasised the importance of collaboration between private security firms and the police before the elections.