All systems go for elections

2011-03-11 13:16

The local government election timetable was published in the Government Gazette today, signalling the countdown to election day on May 18.

This follows yesterday’s proclamation of the election date by acting Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Briefing the media in Pretoria, the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) Chief Electoral Officer Pansy Tlakula said the commission had met representatives of political parties for consultation about the election timetable.

“The commission subsequently approved the election timetable, which outlines the electoral processes until election day,” said Tlakula.

The briefing was also attended by various political parties who were attending a party national liaison committee meeting. Asked whether the commission tackled the issue of objections by the Democratic Alliance (DA), particularly with regards to Midvaal, Tlakula said that commission was not the platform.

She however indicated that investigations in this regard were continuing.

“We will ensure that by the time we certify the voters’ roll, all issues would have been concluded.”

Certification and inspection of the voters’ roll is set for March 18.

The DA laid charges of electoral fraud this week, against eight people who registered to vote over the weekend and gave non-existent addresses. They were allegedly bused in by the ruling party.

The IEC has since written to the party to submit their objections in terms of the format prescribed by law, something which it had neglected.

Tlakula further said political parties and independent candidates have to notify the IEC about their intentions to contest elections by March 25.

The dates will also include the submission of nomination lists of candidates and payment of deposits.

The submission of applications for special votes will commence on April 15 and close on May 3, she said.

Special voting was scheduled to take place between 8am to 5pm on May 16, while home visits by officials will take place the next day.

The full timetable can be views at the IEC website.

The number of people on the voters’ roll stands at 23.6 million. The IEC had wanted 24 million people on the roll, but said it was satisfied with a 1.9% increase in the number of voters compared to other years.

The final number of people on the voters’ roll for the municipal elections would be announced by the commission once it had been certified.

On May 18, all registered voters will be able to vote for the ward candidate and party of their choice at the voting station where they registered.

Voters living in the eight metropolitain councils, namely: Tshwane Metro, City of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Mangaung, City of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela, Buffalo City and Ethekwini, will have two votes each.

One vote will be for the ward candidate of their choice and the second vote for the party of their choice.

Voters will get three ballot papers in local councils – one for the ward candidate of their choice, the second for a party of their choice in the local council and a third vote for the party of their choice in the district council.

Tlakula appealed to organs of civil society to join in the efforts of the IEC to promote “maximum participation” in the municipal elections.

More information on the municipal elections can be obtained through the IEC call centre’s toll free landline 0800 11 8000 or by visiting www.elections.org.za. 

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