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IEC: Plans for 2021 elections on track despite COVID-19

IEC officials briefed Parliament’s home affairs committee on the impact of an adjusted budget earlier on Tuesday.

Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa says it is still on track preparing for next year’s local government elections.

This is despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a R35 million budget cut imposed by National Treasury.

IEC officials briefed Parliament’s home affairs committee on the impact of the adjusted budget earlier on Tuesday.

The IEC said the COVID-19 pandemic had affected its preparations for next year’s local government elections and it had also been compelled to take a R35 million haircut in terms of its budget.

But chairperson Glenn Mashinini said plans for next year’s local government elections were going ahead.

“We as the commission are still firmly on track with our plans and preparations for next year’s local government elections.

“We have found ways and identified which areas will be less risky for us going ahead.”

Mashinini said the circumstances under which the IEC was working were extremely difficult.

“Making the plans we need to be as flexible as possible because the issue of the virus and its impact for us to be able to prepare for the election is really impaired - and the certainty of the activities we have to undertake is also a situation where we have to be continuously on the look out, to say how do we balance the situation to realise the delivery of the coming elections.”