IEC concerned about 'hotspots'
Bloemfontein - Although there are concerns about protests in some on the country's municipalities, residents in those communities have registered for the elections, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said on Wednesday.
"Yes, there are hotspots but we should not take these out of context," said IEC chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula.
She was speaking at a local government election seminar on "Free and Fair Elections", hosted by the Free State IEC.
South Africa is expected to go to the ballot boxes in the 2011 local government elections before the end of May.
Tlakula said there were some concerns about the situation in "very few" places.
Free and fair
"We are concerned because part of the freeness and fairness of the elections are that people must be able to vote in an atmosphere that is conducive and free of violence and intimidation," she said.
It was not necessary to create an impression that the country was on fire.
At many of these municipalities residents went to register to vote when the IEC opened its voting stations for voter registration earlier this year.
Tlakula said it was necessary to still hold "free and fair election seminars" to tell residents and political parties what free and fair elections meant.
Democracy developed and new issues came forward such as incumbency, the issue of financing political parties and the elections, she said.
The last opportunity to register for the 2011 local government elections would be on March 5 and 6.
The announcement of the election date was expected soon afterwards.