2021 elections were the hardest we had to oversee - IEC

The IEC said the 2021 election was the most difficult it had to oversee, due to a variety of challenges, including power cuts and the coronavirus pandemic.

Image of ROC during 2021 muncipal election result on 4 November: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Electoral Commission said that the 2021 municipal elections were characterised by uncertainty and tested South Africa as a nation.

The commission had just 42 days to prepare for the elections, following a Constitutional Court ruling in September.

It had initially planned to hold the polls early next year.

The commission also said that the elections were the hardest it had to oversee after having to contend with power interruptions, the coronavirus pandemic as well as widespread criticism of its newly introduced voter management devices (VMDs).

The IEC's Sy Mamabolo said that the last few weeks had been challenging.

"At times it was perceived as an election in doubt for we never were sure about its safe conduct," Mamabolo said.

Meanwhile, IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini reaffirmed the work of the VMDs saying that they were a game-changer.

"We achieved our innovative objectives of taking our electoral system to the next level of automation through the introduction of the voter management device, which has put paid to the possibility that there could ever be allegations of double voting."

The IEC said it was pleased that despite the challenges, it was able to deliver free elections to South Africans.

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