IEC urges voters not to waste by-election opportunity

Wednesday's by-elections are being held across seven provinces, including KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga among others.

FILE: Voters being socially distanced and sanitised before entering a voting station in Ward 30, at Rantailane Secondary School in Ga-Rankuwa on 19 May, 2021. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Political parties in Gauteng are upbeat about Wednesday’s by-elections which are taking part in 16 wards across the province.

Over 145 candidates were contesting by-elections in 40 wards across the country, in what some described as a test for the local government elections scheduled for later this year.

While the by-elections generally have a considerably lower turnout compared to other local government elections, political parties, among others, have been testing whether electioneering can still take place under strict COVID-19 regulations.

GALLERY: Voters head to polling station for Ga-Rankuwa by-election

Over 300,000 voters were registered to take part in Wednesday’s polls.

The African National Congress (ANC)’s Mpho Tladinyana in ward 30 in Ga-Rankuwa said that they had done their best to reach all voters.

"Voters have been turning to various voting districts. We as the ANC have done the work, we've gone VD to VD, street-by-street, door-to-door, we have done whatever we can do considering that we're in the times of COVID-19."

The by-elections are being held across seven provinces, including KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga among others.

Meanwhile, the IEC has urged voters who had not yet cast their votes in Wednesday’s by-elections to do so.

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo said that there had been a steady flow of voters going to stations where 145 candidates from 29 political parties were contesting elections.

Voting stations close at 9pm this evening and the IEC appealed to voters not to waste an opportunity to take part in the democratic process.

The IEC's Mamabolo: "This is an important opportunity for people to elect their political leadership and in so doing influence the direction of community development within their wards."

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