IEC estimates Wednesday’s by-elections cost between R10m & R15m

Close to 230,000 people arrived to cast their ballots in what was the largest by-election for the IEC to date.

FILE: An IEC official sits behind two ballot boxes, as she waits for voters in Langa. Picture: Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Thursday estimated that the recent by-elections cost in the region of R10 million to R15 million to carry out.

Ninety-five wards were up for grabs across an unprecedented 55 municipalities during Wednesday’s vote.

ALSO READ: Wednesday’s by-elections were calm, smooth and successful, says IEC

The IEC was under pressure to clear a backlog of polls that had been halted earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WATCH: EXPLAINER: What are by-elections?

Close to 230,000 people arrived to cast their ballots in what was the largest by-election for the IEC to date.

With fears that the poll could have become a vehicle for the spread of COVID-19, the commission was compelled to ensure adequate preventive measures were in place.

Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said given the scale of the election, procurement of COVID-19 safety equipment came at a hefty price.

The commission said it could not yet determine the exact cost of the entire election as some regions were still taking stock of how many staff members actually pitched for work, and therefore were due their pay.

With the IEC expected to endure more budget cuts in the next financial year, it remained to be seen how the shrinking purse would affect the upcoming local government elections.

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