IEC welcomes resumption of political activities

The Electoral Commission has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of the country’s return to Alert Level 1 which allows the resumption of some political activities.

A total of 45 by-elections across 37 municipalities in all nine provinces are scheduled affecting 362 431 registered voters.

“The relaxation of the restrictions paves the way for the holding of by-elections for municipal ward vacancies which arose since the last by-election in early December,” the IEC said in a statement on Monday.
The President made the announcement of the move to Level 1 in an address to the nation on Sunday. Under the eased restrictions, political activities including political gatherings of up to 100 people in an indoor venue and 250 people in an outdoor venue are now allowed.
According to the IEC, the outstanding by-elections scheduled to be held on 21 April and 19 May will help to “clear the decks” of vacancies ahead of the Local Government Elections scheduled for between 4 August and 1 November.
A total of 45 by-elections across 37 municipalities in all nine provinces are scheduled affecting 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 1 May (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 (1 February 2021) has already passed.
‘The resumption of by-elections is therefore one of the final opportunities ahead of the Local Government Elections for the Electoral Commission, political parties, independent candidates and other stakeholders to test their protocols for campaigning, voter registration, voting and counting of ballots while maintaining COVID-19 safety measures,” said the Commission.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission was able to conduct free, fair and safe by-elections in November and December last year during the previous Alert Level 1 phase of restrictions. The Commission remains confident that it can conduct further by-elections under the same conditions.
The following by-elections will be held on 21 April 2021 with voter registration planned for 13 – 14 March 2021:

Province Municipality Ward number/s Registered voters. Eastern Cape BUF – Buffalo City 20 8 798.KwaZulu-Natal ETH – eThekwini 6 18 116.KZN292 – KwaDukuza 5 4 350. KZN294 – Maphumulo 5 & 7 8 993. KZN434 – uBuhlebezwe 4 4 754.

KZN435 – uMzimkhulu 20 4 765. Limpopo LIM332 – Greater Letaba 15 3 856. Mpumalanga MP305 – Lekwa 11 4 930.

North West NW372 – Madibeng 40 6 724. Northern Cape NC062 – NAMA KHOI 2 3 067. NC452 – GA-SEGONYANA 2 3 952.

Western Cape CPT – City of Cape Town 20 17 861. WC048 – Knysna 11 2 810. WC053 – Beaufort West 4 3 276.

7 provinces 14 municipalities 15 (71 VDs) 96 252. The following by-elections are scheduled for 19 May 2021 with voter registration being planned for 10- 11 April 2021. Province Municipality Ward/s Registered voters. Eastern Cape EC122 – Mnquma 28 4 345. EC124 Amahlathi 11 3 204. EC135 – Intsika Yethu 17 3 325. EC154 – Port St Johns 09 3 450. EC157 – King Sabata Dalindyebo 34 5 673. EC441 – Matatiele 11 3 698. NMA – Nelson Mandela Bay 17 6 857. Free State FS184 – Matjhabeng 35 5 630

FS194 – Maluti a Phofung 25 4 322. Gauteng EKU – Ekurhuleni 43 17 285. JHB – City of Johannesburg 7, 17, 18, 23 74 933.

TSH – Tshwane Metro 3, 58, 88, 92 55 768. KwaZulu-Natal ETH – eThekwini 110 19 190. KZN282 – uMhlathuze 15 6 442.

KZN242 – Nqutu 11 5 707. KZN262 – uPhongolo 14 3 877. KZN282 – uMhlathuze 15, 22, 30 16 164.

Limpopo LIM344 – Makhado 38 5 663. LIM367 – Mogalakwena 23 5 704. LIM476 – Fetakgomo Tubatse 13 6 429.

Mpumalanga MP312 – Emalahleni 33 4 731. MP313 – Steve Tshwete 22 3 646. MP325 – Bushbuckridge 21 6 578.

6 provinces 23 municipalities 30 wards (184 VDs) 266 179.

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