Voting during a pandemic: MPs call on all to adhere to health protocols in 15 by-elections

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By-elections are due to take place.
By-elections are due to take place.
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  • MPs have urged people to adhere to Covid-19 protocols during by-elections on Wednesday.
  • Fifteen wards are set to hold by-elections in April, and a further 40 will be held next month.
  • Parties have urged their supporters and members to go out and vote. 

Electoral staff and officials should monitor that everyone taking part in by-elections on Wednesday wear face masks, keep a safe distance from other people and sanitise their hands and voting stations, the chairperson of National Assembly's Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Faith Muthambi, has said.

Muthambi added in a statement:
We wish the wards to elect women and men who have the interests of the people in their hearts in the wards, servants of the people who are driven by a deep commitment to the people.

She mistakenly quoted the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) as saying there would be by-elections in 40 wards, which is a reference to the next round on 19 May.

The first round this year will take place in 15 municipal wards in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape and Western Cape. 

READ | Political party funding: IEC says it will take time to feel impact of the Act

The IEC said apart from masks and physical distancing, voters would be required to sanitise their hands as they entered and left voting stations. 

The ANC in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Pule Mabe, urged its members and supporters to go out and vote in the by-elections.

"The ANC views local government as the coalface of service delivery and a door-step to democracy," Mabe said in the statement.

"Our ward councillor selection process, which is underpinned by community participation, is designed to advance people's power in action."

The party also called on voters to adhere to Covid-19 protocols.

"We must never let our guard down if we are to win the war against Covid-19."

The ANC, IFP, DA and EFF as well as a number of independent candidates are among those taking part in the by-elections. 

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