Home News NC set for ‘super Wednesday’ by-elections

NC set for ‘super Wednesday’ by-elections

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Voting is scheduled to take place between 7am and 9pm on Wednesday, November 11 and the results are expected to be announced by midday on Thursday.

THE INDEPENDENT Electoral Commission (IEC) said on Monday that all preparations are in place for the first round of by-elections that will take place after the national lockdown was implemented in March.

Voting is scheduled to take place between 7am and 9pm on Wednesday, November 11 and the results are expected to be announced by midday on Thursday.

By-elections will take place in 95 wards across 55 municipalities in all nine provinces on Wednesday this week. Special votes will be cast on Tuesday.

The Northern Cape will hold the most by-elections on the day (20 in eight municipalities) followed by 19 by-elections across 13 municipalities in the Eastern Cape.

In Gauteng 14 by-elections will take place across six municipalities. There will be 12 by-elections across nine municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal and 11 by-elections across five municipalities in the Western Cape.

There will be six by-elections across four municipalities in the North West, and five by-elections in Mpumalanga across three municipalities.

In Limpopo four elections will be held across four municipalities and four by-elections in the Free State across three municipalities.

There will be 20 by-elections that will take place in the Northern Cape in Renosterberg, Phokwane, Hantam, Khâi-Ma, Kai !Garib, Ubuntu, Tsantsabane and Dawid Kruiper municipalities.

Phokwane and Renosterberg municipalities have been dissolved and by-elections will be held in all wards.

Nine proportional representation (PR) candidates must also be elected in Phokwane, while three PR seats must be filled in Renosterberg.

Vacancies were created following the death of councillors at Hantam, Khâi-Ma, Ubuntu and Tsantsabane municipalities, while one councillor resigned from Dawid Kruiper Municipality.

The ANC, Azanian People’s Organisation, DA, EFF, FF+ and an independent candidate, Raletlala Thomas Mokoatsi, will be contesting in Phokwane.

In Hantam the ANC, DA, EFF and Khoisan Revolution have registered for the by-elections.

At Renosterberg, voters will be able to choose from the ANC, DA, EFF, FF+ and two independent candidates – Lucy Vuyizana and Johannes Niklaas.

The ANC and EFF will be contesting at Ubuntu Municipality and Khâi-Ma Municipality.

At Kai !Garib and Dawid Kruiper municipalities the ANC, DA and EFF are contesting, while at Tsantsabane Municipality the ANC, EFF and Save Tsantsabane Coalition will appear on the ballot papers.

IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo urged voters to participate in the by-elections.

“The IEC is confident that all logistical, human resource and safety preparations are in place to ensure free, fair and safe elections on Wednesday. Of course, adequate planning and preparations are necessary but not sufficient for successful elections. We also need voters to turn out in numbers to participate to give credibility and legitimacy to the outcome – especially in ward by-elections where victory can be determined by a handful of votes,” said Mamabolo.

He indicated that the by-elections would be contested by 40 political parties with a total of 444 candidates certified as contestants. “This includes 19 independent candidates.

“Of the candidates, 305 (69 percent) are male and 139 (31 percent) are female.”

Mamabola added that the by-elections would serve as a test run for future by-elections and the 2021 local government elections under Covid-19 conditions.

“With everyone’s co-operation we believe this week’s by-elections will provide a successful template for the planning and holding of free, fair and safe elections in the future.”

He stated that all voters would be expected to observe strict social distancing practices both outside and inside voting stations and wear face masks within the designated boundaries of voting stations.

“Hand sanitisers will be provided to all persons entering and exiting the voting station.”

He added that the traditional indelible ink marker pens would be replaced with an indelible ink liquid that would be applied from a bottle to the thumb of voters with the use of disposable cotton buds.

“Protective equipment including masks, gloves and face shields have been procured for election staff for voting stations and for conducting home visits for those voters who are physically disabled, infirm or pregnant.”

Mamabolo stated that all the necessary election equipment has been procured and distributed to warehouses and will be transported to voting stations on Tuesday.

“This includes copies of the voters rolls and voting district maps, voting booths, pens and personal protective equipment (PPE). Approximately 700,000 ballot papers have been printed while ballot paper stamps, 2,300 indelible ink bottles and 900,000 cotton application buds have been procured.”

He indicated that 28,000 face masks, 3,600 face shields, 65,000 rubber gloves, 1,500 biohazard bins and bags, 1,150 packs of sanitiser wipes, 1,300 litres of sanitiser and 10,000 social distancing markers would be distributed to IEC staff.