IEC declares 7 May a public holiday

The announcement was made before Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs.

FILE: The Independent Electoral Commission on Tuesday revealed that 7 May has been proclaimed a public holiday. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Seven May has officially been proclaimed a public holiday, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) revealed in Parliament on Tuesday.

South Africans will head to the polls on that day to cast their ballots for provincial and national elections.

IEC Vice-Chairperson Terry Tselane and other officials made the comments while briefing Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on the organisation's state of readiness for the polls.

"We think thus far, we are ready. We are waiting for the political parties now to finalise their submission of lists tomorrow [Wednesday] and we will be proceeding with the printing of the ballot papers."

Members of Parliament (MP)'s welcomed the decision to make 7 May a public holiday.

Chief Electoral Officer Mosotho Moepya delivered the news.

"I'm pleased to indicate that 7 May has been proclaimed a public holiday."

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in February called for the day to be made a public holiday in order to allow workers time to vote.

Meanwhile, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party leader Julius Malema has lost his bid against paying a R600,000 deposit when submitting a candidate list to the IEC for the 2014 general elections.

The application was deemed non-urgent and was dismissed with costs in the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday afternoon.

The EFF argued the deposits were unconstitutional as the poor couldn't participate in the polls.