Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Pretoria: With candidate nominations for the 2021 Local Government Elections having closed on Monday night, preliminary indications are that there has been a high number of candidates nominated, said the Electoral Commission (IEC).

The IEC’s preliminary figures indicate the total number of candidates stands at 59 272, including those captured through the online candidate nomination system, as well as manually, in the local office of the Commission.

“Seventy-four per cent of preliminary candidates were captured through the online system, whereas 26% came through manual submissions,” it said on Tuesday.

This as the IEC on Monday extended the closing time for submission of candidate nomination lists from 5pm to 9pm for political parties and independent candidates intending to contest the Local Government Elections scheduled for 27 October 2021. In line with the Electoral timetable, the first stage of the candidate nomination process concluded on Monday night.

The IEC said there is currently work in progress to collate all the nomination information.

The Commission has released a preliminary report on the candidate nomination process, which opened on 3 August 2021 and closed on Monday.

“Local offices of the Commission are still currently busy capturing manual submissions that were received by the cut off time of 9pm yesterday. The plan is to conclude this capturing by the end of today. The total number of municipal council seats being contested in this years election is 10 285,” the IEC said.

Compliance verification

There are 276 unique political parties that submitted candidates of which two are contesting in all the 257 municipalities in the country.

The total number of independents currently captured is 944. In 2016, there were 855 independent candidates.

“The compliance verification processes is already under way. This is to ensure that candidates on the system are compliant with the electoral prescripts. As at this morning, the total election deposits paid amount to just over R 7 million. Some payments were made late last night through electronic funds transfer and these may take up to 48 hours to reflect in the bank account of the Commission,” it said.

The IEC confirmed that the online system closed at 9:34pm.

“The reason for this was to enable the data transfer from the public website where the online candidate nomination system is hosted into the internal business application.

“In the interests of sound election management practice, candidates whose details were entered after the deadline of 9pm cannot and will not be accepted but candidates captured before and up to 9pm will be taken as duly submitted. This is facilitated through the date and time stamp, which is a component of the online candidate nomination system,” the IEC said.

The affected candidates who were captured during the 34 minutes before the online system actually closed are 74.

“On Friday, 27 August 2021, the Chief Electoral Officer will notify political parties of any non-compliance that may have arisen. In this regard, contestants will have until Monday, 30 August 2021, to correct the non-compliance.

“Furthermore, on 31 August 2021 parties will be notified of candidates who may be appearing on multiple party lists. Parties may choose to remove such candidates and re-order lists by 2 September 2021,” the IEC said.

Final list of candidates

The final lists of candidates will be certified and published on 7 September 2021.

“This date will mark the conclusion point of the candidate nomination process and the ballot paper production process will then be able to commence. Certified candidates will be issued with certificates on 13 September 2021,” the IEC said.

The IEC has thanked political parties and independent candidates for their continued interest in electoral democracy.

“Such interest tells us that the electoral democratic project is well and alive in the country. It is not lost to the Commission that the unfolding nomination process had to be undertaken against the backdrop of a pernicious pandemic, which is threatening our collective existence.” the IEC said.