Tuesday, 07 September 2021
Johannesburg: The Electoral Commission says it has already taken measures to ensure that it complies with the orders of the Constitutional Court relating to the conduct of municipal elections by 1 November 2021.
The Constitutional Court last week ruled that the elections must take place between 27 October and 1 November this year.
Addressing the media in Pretoria on Monday, the Commission’s Chairperson Glen Mashinini assured South Africans that it will spare no effort to deliver a credible process guided by prescripts and electoral jurisprudence arising from the courts.
The Commission calls on all role-players, especially political parties, to cooperate to ensure that the election proceeds within a calm environment where voters can exercise their right to vote and make their choices without undue impediments.
“In order to give impetus to the preparations of the elections, the Commission met over the weekend to assess whether a registration weekend can be practical before the elections.
“Commission is of the view that it must take all necessary measures to ensure an electoral process that is free and fair, striving for safety within the constraints occasioned by the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Having considered and deliberated on the matter, the Commission has made a determination that a registration weekend is a necessity ahead of this general election,” said Mashinini.
Mashinini said a registration weekend is now scheduled for the weekend of 18 and 19 September 2021.
According to Mashinini, all the 23 151 voting stations will open at 08h00 until 17h00 on both days.
“This registration weekend will offer all eligible citizens an opportunity to register or update their registration details,” he said.
Mashinini urged all the young people to take advantage of the registration weekend to register and eventually vote.
Mashinini said the Commission has advised the Cogta Minister that it will be proceeding with a registration weekend on 18 and 19 September 2021.
“This means that the Minister will on 20 September 2021 proclaim the date of the election. This proclamation of the election date will cause the voters’ roll to be closed for purposes of the 2021 municipal elections,” Mashinini said.
Mashinini said the Commission has indicated its preference of the election date to the Minister who is now considering the matter.
“It is the Commission’s wish that the election date is announced sooner to allow electoral stakeholders to prepare within the short time to 1 November.
“In view of the fact that the voter registration process has been reopened by the order of the Court, a number of amendments to the electoral timetable are necessary,” he said.
According to the Commission, there are currently 77 970 candidates of which 911 are independent.
The Commission says it has acquired 40 000 Voter Management Devices which will be used for the first time over the registration weekend.
These devices will, in most registration stations, be functioning online. This will facilitate the process of voter verification almost instantaneously.