By-election close

2017-10-04 06:01

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in the Free State has begun paving the way for by-elections for the dissolved Metsimaholo Local Municipality in Sasolburg.

The IEC plans to conduct the eagerly-awaited election on 29 November to get a new government after the former coalition was dissolved in July this year.

The process came after the Electoral Court approved the request of the IEC to hold the by-elections on 29 November.

The municipality was run as a coalition government of four parties: the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the Metsimaholo Community Association (MCA) and the Freedom Front Plus (FF+).

The coalition government was dissolved after the parties in the coalition had a disagreement. This followed infighting which led to the failure of the Metsimaholo Local Municipality to adopt its 2017-’18 budget.

The Electoral Commission’s work in paving the way for the eagerly-awaited by-election includes updating the voters roll and verifying the addresses of all voters registered in the wards of the municipality. A team of 200 officials was deployed in the town over two days (29 to 30 September) for the task of verifying voters’ addresses by conducting door-to-door visits and targeting 22 000 registered voters whose physical address details do not appear on the voters roll.

“We urge all the registered and potential voters in the Metsimaholo Local Municipality to ascertain if their registration details and addresses are up to date,” says Jabulani Tshabalala, Free State provincial electoral officer (PEO).

He further urges potential voters to update their details by visiting the nearby IEC offices at any time and to visit their voting stations on the regi­stration weekend (7 to 8 October) between 08:00 and 17:00.

Voters are advised to update their addresses on the official website of the IEC.

Tshabalala says the by-elections will include all 21 ward and 21 proportional representation (PR) council seats. He says currently there are 78 671 registered voters in the 59 voting districts in Metsimaholo.

Tshabalala says a cursory look into the voter turnout during the 2016 Municipal Elections in this municipality gave a number of 57,56%.

The political parties fared as follows: the ANC won 19 seats, the DA 12 seats, the EFF eight seats, the Metsimaholo Community Association two seats and the FF+ one seat.

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