Picture: THE SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL
Picture: THE SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL

A last round of by-elections will be held in April and May in a last electoral endeavor before SA goes to local polls later in the year.  

By-elections were to be held in January, February and March, but had to be postponed as SA was in a stricter level of its lockdown imposed to curb the the spread of the coronavirus. 

“The relaxation of the restrictions paves the way for holding by-elections for municipal ward vacancies, which arose since the last by-election in early December,” the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said in a statement on Tuesday. 

The outstanding by-elections are now scheduled to be held on April 21 and May 19, which the IEC said will help “clear the decks” of vacancies ahead of the local government elections.

The IEC said the resumption of by-elections is one of the final opportunities for the commission, political parties, independent candidates and other stakeholders to test their protocols for campaigning, voter registration, voting and counting ballots while maintaining Covid-19 safety measures.

A total of 45 by-elections will be held across 37 municipalities in all nine provinces affecting 362,431 registered voters.

Elections were unable to take place under the stricter levels of the lockdown, as it was deemed that these elections would not have been free and fair.  

It was only when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that SA was moving back to level 1 of the lockdown on Sunday that political activities were allowed again. 

mailovichc@businesslive.co.za

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