LIVE BLOG: Last push for parties as local government elections draw near

With the local government elections around the corner, political parties have intensified their campaigning and hope to win over the votes of South Africans.

OPINION :In the township, such an "apology" or "withdrawal" is often described in this manner: "They say I must say I am sorry because you are offended. Kodwa oksalayo, sengishilo. Manje senijabulile?" (But what I have already said cannot be unsaid. Are you happy now?). 

OPINION: In a tragicomedy turn of events, the DA pulled down the posters after a national uproar against them. And then the next day, the same party proceeded to defend the posters. 

OPINION: One of the pitiful things happening in South Africa today, is that racists are emboldened once more to lead the discourse on racism!
Recently, the Democratic Alliance (DA) put up fancy posters around Phoenix to declare boldly that ‘"The ANC called you racists. The DA calls you heroes." 

Emfuleni: Residents told Eyewitness News there were issues with rubbish collection and in the heat of summer, large sections of the neighbourhood were blanketed in the stench of sewage because of faulty mains that hadn't been dealt with.

Emfuleni : Evaton falls under the Emfuleni Municipality - an African National Congress (ANC)-run body - that was placed under administration in 2018 and is in debt to the tune of more than R4.5 billion.

Mashinini: "This year, we’re celebrating a major milestone after many years of having an elusive achievement. The Auditor General has given the electoral commission a clean audit. We continue to strive to have integrity and such measures as this result centre are meant to do that"

Mashinini: "It is also important to us that commission accounts, on a regular basis, to the people of South Africa. The commission, on a regular basis, appears before Parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs. We’re very much pleased that, as we’ve always held, that the integrity and transparency are the currency of the electoral body". 

Mashaba:  The reception he had received from residents in Johannesburg showed that his party would emerge as the biggest party in South Africa.

 ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba was campaigning in Soweto on Tuesday where he was visiting homes and addressing challenges. 

Mashinini: The ROC is officially open for the 6th local govt elections.

Mashinini: Only the IEC can proclaim and announce the election results and will do so on 4 November.

 Mashinini: Measures are in place to ensure transparency and to ensure results cannot be rigged.

"Despite the challenges faced throughout the year, the IEC is ready to hold free and fair elections” said IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini. 

 "There are 26.2 million South Africa citizens who are registered to participate in these elections" Mr. Sy Mamabolo (Chief Electoral Officer).

 The Auditor general has given the commission a clean audit. 

 IEC has an updated website that will guide the public on the elections. 

 The media will be the eyes and ears of the commission, as the commission can't reach all the voting stations. 

 There are 1546 are independent candidates and  61111 wards candidates .

 There are 95427 candidates taking part in elections.

 IEC Officials will wear masks, sanitise desk and pens. 

 You may only vote at the voting station where you are registered. 

 185 000 officials will be working at 430 148 voting stations. 

 EC has the highest number of special votes at 200 000.
Followed by KZN with 162 000 special votes. 

 The last ballots will be delivered to municipalities on Thursday. 

 The City of Johannesburg is the most contested metro with 56 political parties on the provisional ballot paper. 

Defence Minister Thandi Modise said: “We’ve had a look at the country as a whole and we have identified areas, which are a concern. We have ranked these areas in terms of low, medium and high-risk areas and we will be deploying accordingly.”

Defence Minister Thandi Modise said all forms of violence would not be tolerated: “We’d like to remind South Africans that the incitement of violence is also a criminal offence. Interfering with the work of the IEC, interfering or threatening IEC officials is also a transgression that is punishable by law.”

 This time next week, South Africans will be casting their ballots in the local government elections, and questions around safety have been raised, given the recent, politically motivated killings in parts of the country. 

While Cele would not divulge the number of officials - he said the Western Cape - KZN - Gauteng and the Western Cape have been identified as hotspots. 
The army will also be stepping in to assist the police. 

Thousands of police officers will be deployed countrywide to secure voting stations and maintain law and order on election day, with others already stationed in problematic areas.

Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape have all been identified as hotspots for the upcoming local government elections, and both the Defence and Police Ministers have assured that measures have been put in place to quell any turmoil that might arise in these areas.

LIVE BLOG: We’re capable of ensuring a safe & secure election, says Cele

"The Defend our Democracy campaign is saying we're approaching a stage where criminal kingpins are deciding who is going to be the mayor in their local towns," he said.

Everatt said part of the reason for the "rotten politics" in local government was that people were able to act with impunity, secure in the knowledge that they had political protection, for whatever they did.

The party has pledged it will do better, as it appealed to voters to support it come 1 November. The country's biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (ANC), was meanwhile punting its track record of good governance in the municipalities that it controls.

In spite of its dismal track record, the African National Congress (ANC) is likely to be returned to the helm in most municipalities across the country, although coalitions are again likely in key metros like Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Nelson Mandela Bay.

Eyewitness News recently spent time in what some have dubbed the province’s “capital of shame” – Mahikeng.

Forced to contend with water cuts, poor roads, and all-around deteriorating infrastructure, Mahikeng residents are fed up.

With its years-long political and ultimately governance problems, the North West has been highlighted, especially by the Auditor-General, for a total neglect of internal control disciplines and a lack of accountability.

As politicians race through the last days of campaigning to secure votes for the local government elections, underperforming municipalities have been thrust into the spotlight once again.

In 2016, the ANC secured over 53% of the total votes.

There are 26,228,975 registered voters in South Africa, with the bulk being in the two most populous provinces, Gauteng and KZN.

Things have since changed, however, with the resignation of then-DA Mayor Herman Mashaba and the axing of then-DA mayor Athol Trollip. Handing the mayorship over to the ANC and UDM respectively. 

eThekwini, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town are the most hotly-contested metros, with the DA having caused an upset in 2016 by taking Joburg, Tshwane and NMB from the ANC. 

Polls open at 7am on Monday, 1 November and close at 9pm. Results are expected to be all in by Thursday 4 November.

Party leaders of the 3 biggest parties, EFF, DA and ANC, have been crisscrossing the country for weeks in a bid to secure votes for their parties from communities.

Friday, 29 October is the last day political parties and candidates will be allowed to officially campaign and run ads in run-up to the local government elections.