Plans in place to ensure polls don't increase risk of COVID-19 infection - IEC

With COVID-19 top of mind, the Independent Electoral Commission has given an update on preparations ahead of local government elections in October.

FILE: Western Cape IEC centre say it's ready to open polls Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - With COVID-19 top of mind, the Independent Electoral Commission has given an update on preparations ahead of local government elections in October.

The IEC has briefed the Western Cape provincial legislature's local government committee.

This week, the commission indicated that it would be possible to conduct elections under the current circumstances, while former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke would review that position.

The IEC’s Michael Hendrickse said that the next big day in preparing for the local government election was the general voter registration to be held on 17 and 18 July.

“Given where we are now and the announcement made by the president, we foresee that candidate nominations will take place during the month of August or September,” he said.

At last count, the number of registered voters in the Western Cape was just over three million.

There are more than 1,500 voting stations and approximately 4,600 staff members are recruited and trained.

About 18,000 staff are required on voting day on 27 October 2021.

Hendrickse said that they had plans to ensure the elections did not increase the risk of COVID-19 infection.

“Social distancing is being practiced and we are also replacing the indelible mark with a liquid which will be applied using cotton buds,” he said.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.