South Africans on Wednesday morning started casting their votes in the country’s 6th general elections.
Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. local time (0600GMT) and will close at 9 p.m. local time (2000GMT).
“I voted because I want to see change and a better life for all South Africans,” an elderly voter told Anadolu Agency after casting her vote in Soweto, south of the country’s largest city Johannesburg.
According to the country’s electoral commission, some 26.7 million South Africans are eligible to vote in the election 2019, the year when the nation celebrates the 25th anniversary of its first democratic elections.
There are about 22,000 voting stations open countrywide, where voters will cast their ballots to elect national and provincial assemblies’ representatives.
Mmusi Maimane, leader of the main opposition party Democratic Alliance, cast his vote in Dobsonville in Soweto.
A record 48 political parties are participating in the elections, but the main contest is expected to be between three ruling Africa National Congress, Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters.
ANC leader and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to vote at about 11 a.m. local time (1000GMT) in Soweto.
The major issues affecting South Africans are unemployment, crimes and corruption among others.
According to the electoral commission, the counting of votes will begin after 9 p.m. local time (2000GMT).