IEC wants peaceful by-elections

Polls will open later this week for 99 districts in South Africa to elect new ward councillors.

Western Cape Electoral Officer Reverend Courtney Sampson. Picture: Janine Willemans/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is urging the public to get involved and vote in countrywide by-elections, which are scheduled to take place this week.

Twenty-one municipal wards will be contested on Wednesday in five provinces, including the Western Cape.

The IEC says citizens must exercise their democratic right by voting for a ward councillor to represent their community.

Western Cape Electoral Officer Courtney Sampson says he hopes the elections will be free and fair.

"We want peace, respect, decency and dignity. We want an opportunity for people to be proudly South Africans when they go and vote."

He says it's the mandate of new ward councillors to improve service delivery in their communities.

More than 80,000 votes have been registered in 99 districts across the country.