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IEC eyes slashing programmes to make up for looming budget cuts

The Chapter 9 institution is anticipating its budget from government to be trimmed by R130 million in the next financial year, a move that is likely to have an impact on its ability to carry out the upcoming local government elections.

FILE: Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo gives an update on the voting process at the national results operation centre in Pretoria. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said that it was already eyeing programmes that could be slashed next year in order to make up for looming budget cuts.

The commission released the results of the recent by-elections on Thursday, where it revealed that costs incurred during the poll could be as high as R15 million.

The Chapter 9 institution is anticipating its budget from government to be trimmed by R130 million in the next financial year, a move that is likely to have an impact on its ability to carry out the upcoming local government elections.

The IEC said that it spent R3 million on the procurement of personal protective equipment for this week's by-election and it is expecting that cost to sky-rocket come next year when communities elect their local government leaders.

Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo will not be drawn on any specifics but admits that the commission will have to start considering cost-cutting measures to make up for the expected shortfall from government.

"The are components that will have to come from staffing, the components that will have to come from projects, including registration projects."

Mamabolo said that the commission was concerned about getting all the necessary logistical supplies that will enable them to run a legitimate election.

"Additionally, there is now a new requirement for personal protective equipment."

The IEC said that while it had a successful by-election amid COVID-19, there's still no telling how future polls would turn out in the presence of the pandemic.

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