Some ‘touch-ups’ before election date set

SOME “touch-ups” needed to be done before a date for the local government elections could be announced, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister David van Rooyen said.

The finalisation of voting districts and the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the Tlokwe by-elections were some of the reasons why a date had not been announced yet, he told reporters on the sidelines of the Electoral Commission of SA’s official municipal election launch in Midrand, Johannesburg last Thursday. Last year, the Constitutional Court set aside the by-elections which took place in the area in 2013 and ordered that they be rerun.

It set aside the by-elections conducted on 12 September, 2013, in Ward 18, and on 10 December, 2013, in wards 1, 4, 11, 12, 13 and 20. The applicants were eight independent candidates who contested the by-elections. The African National Congress won all the contested wards except one. Before the elections, the candidates had lodged objections with the Electoral Commission (IEC) over voter registrations in their respective wards. In the December by-elections in six wards, the applicants complained of delays in receiving the segments of the national voters’ roll to be used for the by-elections. These segments also did not include the residential addresses for any voters. The Tlokwe by-elections were set to be rerun on 24 February.

IEC vice-chairperson Terry Tselane on Thursday said the commission’s staff were going to different areas, particularly those that did not have formal addresses.

An “affirmation form” had been developed for those who did not have a formal address and wanted to register to vote. This was a big challenge, he said. More than 60% of the country did not have formal addresses.

“Since we started with development of the voters’ roll in 1998 we never had an obligation of supplying voter rolls with addresses, we have never done that, so now the Constitutional Court says we have to do it.”

However, he said the court had clarified a lot of issues for the IEC and also raised its standard of doing things.

Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya said the budget for this year’s municipal elections was R1,5 billion, which, according to Van Rooyen, might increase. News24

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