October local govt elections to continue as planned, says IEC

Speaking at a briefing in Centurion, the IEC's chairperson Glen Mashinini said that they were satisfied that it was possible to conduct elections under the current circumstances.

FILE: A voter placing their ballot paper inside a ballot box after casting their vote at the Rantailane Secondary School, in Ga-Rankuwa on 19 May 2021. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The IEC said that preparations for the October local government elections are at an advanced stage and voting would continue but several considerations would be taken into account.

Speaking at a briefing in Centurion, IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini said they were satisfied that it was possible to conduct elections under the current circumstances.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions had cast doubt on the IEC's ability to host the elections as political parties disagreed on the way forward.

The IEC said that in order to protect electoral democracy, it would forge ahead with plans for the fifth local government elections while it puts in place systems and work to ensure that all critical elements of the process were balanced.

Mashinini, told reporters at the briefing that they were not oblivious to the unpredictability and risk presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that the decision to go ahead with plans for the polls was also informed by the experience of other countries which had held elections during the pandemic.

The IEC also added that the experience from over 100 by-elections held in recent months would be beneficial.

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