The tentative date for the local government elections is between August 4 and November 1.
THE INDEPENDENT Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced tentatively that local government elections is scheduled to take place between August 4 and November 1.
However, by-elections will be held at Nama Khoi and Ga-Segonyana municipalities on April 21 following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions to alert level one.
A voter registration weekend will take place on March 13-14.
The IEC said that during level one restrictions, political gatherings of up to 100 people in an indoor venue and 250 people in an outdoor venue, were permitted.
IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said the relaxation of the restrictions paved the way for the holding of by-elections for municipal ward vacancies that arose during the last by-elections in early December.
“The outstanding by-elections scheduled to be held on April 21 and May 19 will help to clear the decks of vacancies ahead of the local government elections scheduled for between August 4 and November 1.”
She said a total of 45 by-elections would be held during April and May across 37 municipalities in all nine provinces involving 362 431 registered voters.
“Under the current local government Municipal Structures Act, the cut-off for the filling of ward vacancies ahead of the elections is May 1 (six months from the latest possible date for the local government elections). The nine-month deadline for the cessation of by-elections in the case of dissolved municipal councils was February 1, has already passed.”
Bapela indicated that the resumption of by-elections was the final opportunity for the IEC, political parties, independent candidates and other stakeholders to test their protocols for campaigning, voter registration, voting and counting of ballots, ahead of the local government elections, while maintaining Covid-19 safety measures.
“The IEC was able to conduct free, fair and safe by-elections in November and December last year during the previous alert level one phase of restrictions and remains confident it can conduct further by-elections under the same conditions.”