Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Pretoria: The Electoral Commission says it will urgently approach the Electoral Court to postpone eight by-elections scheduled for Wednesday; 30 June 2021.

This follows the implementation of Adjusted Alert Level 4 lockdown restrictions, which ban all gatherings, including political ones.

The Electoral Commission said it took the decision to seek the court’s approval to postpone the by-elections at an emergency meeting held on Monday, after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced additional measures to help curb the third wave currently gripping the country.

“Wednesday’s by-elections were the final by-elections scheduled to be conducted prior to the cessation of by-elections ahead of the Local Government Elections scheduled for October this year.” the Commission said in a statement.

The by-elections were scheduled to take place in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu–Natal, Northern Cape and Western Cape, across 48 voting stations and involving 71 305 registered voters.

They were to have been contested by 40 candidates from 14 political parties, and three independent candidates.

Between March 2020 and March 2021, the Electoral Commission approached the Electoral Court to postpone over 100 by-elections during the first and second waves of the pandemic.

These by-elections were safely conducted during lulls in the pandemic when restrictions were at level 1 during November and December 2020 and again during March, April and May 2021.