The Electoral Commission of South Africa officially launched its National Results Operations Centre in Tshwane on Tuesday.
WITH 26.2 million South Africans registered to participate in this year’s local government elections, the announcement of the voting results is expected next Thursday.
Eligible voters are set to elect 10,461 councillors who will take seats in 257 different municipal councils comprising eight metros, 44 district councils and 205 local councils.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) officially launched its National Results Operations Centre (ROC) in Tshwane on Tuesday.
The ROC, at the Tshwane Events Centre, will serve as an important bastion from which the entirety of the electoral process will be co-ordinated.
Described as a citadel for the national co-ordination of the electoral process, this centre will be supported by nine provincial results centres, as well as over 200 local results capturing sites spread throughout the country.
Gauteng has the greatest number of registered voters at 23.64%, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 20.79% and Eastern Cape at 12.42%.
The biggest age band on the voters roll is 30-39 years old, followed by 40-49 years old and then the 20-29 age group.
The IEC chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said the elections will be highly contested with 95,427 candidates who qualified to take part – with 61,111 candidates contesting wards and 34,316 candidates contesting proportional representation (PR) seats.
There are 1,546 independent candidates, while there were only 855 independent candidates in the 2016 election.
The City of Johannesburg is the most contested municipal council in the country with 56 political parties on the PR ballot.
This weekend, the IEC will undertake the special votes.
There are 507,318 home visits that will take place and 602,781 voting station-based special votes captured.
This brings in a total of 1.1million approved special votes for this election.
“Of course special votes assume heightened importance in the Covid context to the extent that they contribute to de-congest voting stations on election day,” Mamabolo said.
He added that the IEC had invested significantly in e-recruitment and e-learning systems which have been used for the first time in this election.
He said the web-based training has been complemented with face-to-face training, especially on the practical aspects of managing the voting process.
“We started off by making a pious declaration that the launch of the centre is an expression of our readiness to deliver, not just a national event, but one which bears significant constitutional importance.
“We have sought to prepare for the election with diligence within the constraints of time and the constraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, we are reasonably confident that all measures necessary have been put in place to realise an election of the standard contemplated on the constitution,“ Mamabolo said.
– Political Bureau