IEC ready to resume by-elections during lockdown Level 1

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
The IEC is ready to resume by-elections after postponements.
The IEC is ready to resume by-elections after postponements.
File/News24
  • The IEC is set to resume by-elections. 
  • By-elections have not been held since March 2020 following the declaration of the national state of disaster. 
  • The commission says by-elections will be held under strict Covid-19 protocols. 

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) is set to resume by-elections, and plans to clear the backlog of all outstanding polls on 11 November 2020.

In a statement issued on Friday, the commission said the scheduling of by-elections follows consultations with Cogta Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as well as represented political parties via a special National Party Liaison Committee meeting held on Thursday.

"By-elections have not been held since March 2020 following the declaration of a National State of Disaster and the imposition of the lockdown restrictions intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus," it said.

"Since then, 96 ward vacancies in 56 municipalities have occurred, including two dissolved councils in the Northern Cape where PR candidates must also be elected (9 PR seats in Phokwane and 3 PR seats in Renosterberg). To clear the backlog, the Electoral Commission plans to hold all vacant ward by-elections simultaneously on 11 November 2020."

READ | Covid-19: Electoral Court grants IEC permission to postpone by-elections

The by-elections are scheduled in all nine provinces across 461 voting districts. They will be held under new Covid-19 protocols. 

"These include implementing strict social distancing practices outside and inside voting stations along with the use of hand sanitisers as voters enter and exit the voting station.

Mask

"Voters, election staff and all those entering the voting station will be required to wear a mask at all times."

The commission has also encouraged voters to bring their own pens to mark their ballot papers, but added that pens will be provided and sanitised after use.

Meanwhile, chairperson of the Electoral Commission Glen Mashinini said the decision by the commission to approach the Electoral Court for postponements of by-elections since March was not taken lightly.

READ | Ramaphosa calls on citizens to use the Covid-19 app - here's how it works

"But given the risk to human life and restriction of political activity the Commission had no choice but to act responsibly and postpone the by-elections. Now that circumstances have improved, we are ready to give voters their political voice back."

Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said the reduction in the Alert level and lifting of restrictions on political activities provided a window for the commission to clear the backlog of by-elections ahead of next year’s scheduled municipal elections.

"Ward council vacancies are not ordinarily filled during the final six months leading to Municipal Elections.

"South Africa will continue to hold by-elections for all the wards that become vacant until May 2021. However, holding all outstanding by-elections together on one day will help the Electoral Commission and political parties to focus their attention and energies on one day and to clear the backlog in one go," Mamabolo said.  

- Compiled by Jeanette Chabalala
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Biden is going to take it
47% - 10339 votes
It's four more years for Trump
53% - 11570 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.39
(-0.31)
ZAR/GBP
21.18
(-0.06)
ZAR/EUR
19.17
(-0.27)
ZAR/AUD
11.53
(-0.08)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.62)
Gold
1868.90
(+0.08)
Silver
23.25
(-0.05)
Platinum
852.00
(+0.41)
Brent Crude
38.07
(-3.48)
Palladium
2210.49
(+0.61)
All Share
51896.97
(-0.79)
Top 40
47576.46
(-0.74)
Financial 15
9756.70
(-2.69)
Industrial 25
72681.12
(-0.25)
Resource 10
47826.96
(-0.63)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo