Record number of parties to contest August elections

(Denis Farrell, AP)
(Denis Farrell, AP)

Johannesburg - More than twice as many parties are planning to contest the local government elections this year compared to five years ago.

A record 200 parties, 65% more than in 2011, would contest the August 3 elections. A total of 61 014 candidates, 12% more, were expected to contest the polls, Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya told reporters on Wednesday.

He was speaking following the publication of the IEC's finalised candidate lists. He said 8 350 candidates were disqualified, most of them for non-submission of documentation or non-payment of their deposit. About 15% were not registered voters in the wards they wanted to contest.

Moepya, however, said the IEC could still admit the National Freedom Party if its court challenge to be admitted was successful. The NFP was disqualified from participating in the elections because it failed to pay its deposit on time.

A total of 73 payments were received with the wrong deposit reference. Once those had been verified, those candidates would be allowed to participate.

80 million ballot papers

Moepya said there were a total of 4 649 unique ballot papers, which included ballots for wards, proportional representation, metro councils, and district councils.

The IEC would print 80 million ballot papers in total.

About 40% of all the candidates were male. On the proportional representation lists, 48% were women. In the wards, only 34% were women. Of the 831 independent candidates, only 14% were women.

The average age of candidates was 44. The youngest, at 18, was a ward candidate in the Ingquza Hill Municipality, while the oldest, in Mbizana, was 90, both in the Eastern Cape.  

 - Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

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