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Survey shows support for local elections postponement

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Just over 60% of adults have supported the postponement of this year’s local government elections.

Just over 60% of adults have supported the postponement of this year’s local government elections.

Cape Town – Just over 60% of adults have supported the postponement of this year’s local government elections.

Findings from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Covid-19 democracy survey show that nearly two-thirds (61%) of the public support postponing the 2021 local government elections. Of those who support postponement, just over half (52%) strongly support postponement, demonstrating that the public seem to have clear views on the issue of electoral postponement.

The survey was fully completed by 4,728 participants.

During April, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the local government elections are set to take place on October 27.

“However, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has raised questions about the feasibility of conducting free and fair elections amidst ongoing restrictions on gatherings, which may hamper voter registration and party political campaigning. Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke is currently leading a process to evaluate the potential impact of Covid-19 on the conditions for holding free and fair elections.

“Support for postponement is largely consistent across various socio-demographic variables, including gender, age, education, employment, and subjective poverty status. This demonstrates that there is a high degree of public consensus on this issue. Views on postponement differ somewhat by race, although all population groups mostly support postponement,” a statement by UJ read.

The survey further showed that Indian and Asian adults most strongly favoured postponement (82%), while White adults showed the lowest relative level of support for postponement (52%).

“While this is lower than other population groups, it demonstrates that just over half of White adults want to opt for postponement. There was negligible difference in preferences among residents or urban and rural areas. In urban areas, 62% support postponement, compared to 61% in rural areas. Similarly, although there are discernible differences amongst the different provinces in support for postponement, it is nonetheless the primary response in all provinces.

“Regardless of political party support, most prefer postponement. ANC supporters are most likely to favour postponement (67%), but support for postponement amongst EFF and DA supporters is similarly high, 63% and 61% respectively. Supporters of other political parties approve of postponement slightly less (53%), but this group is also more likely to be neutral or unsure than supporters of the three main political parties,” UJ said.

Cape Times