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IEC: Lockdown an opportunity to finalise talks on online voting

Thirty-seven by-elections have so far been postponed due to lockdown restrictions, social distancing and hygiene concerns.

FILE: Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - With uncertainty over next year's municipal elections amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) head, Sy Mamabolo said it may be an ideal opportunity to finalise policy discussion about an online voting process.

Thirty-seven by-elections have so far been postponed due to lockdown restrictions, social distancing and hygiene concerns.

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the pandemic would be around for at least another year.

This will make party campaigning and voting for next year's municipal elections difficult.

On Tuesday, Mamabolo said now might be the right time to look at alternative electronic ways to conduct elections.

“It’s a very complex, detailed discussion that we require in the country involving Parliament, political parties and primary stakeholders. We will look at what is the appropriate system and it is a long-term policy discussion, it is not going to be resolved in the immediate.”

LISTEN: Could COVID-19 impact South Africa's 2021 local elections?