Slow uptake on overseas voter registration

IEC Photo: Flickr / Frank Trimbos

Local Government Elections: IEC ready to submit COnCourt documents

The IEC said on Wednesday that they are ready to submit court documents in a bid to postpone the 2021 Local Government Elections.

Slow uptake on overseas voter registration

IEC Photo: Flickr / Frank Trimbos

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) have provided an update on the proposed postponement of the  2021 Local Government Elections, saying that they are ready to submit documents to South Africa’s Constitutional Court. 

Earlier this week, Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma issued a proclamation that the polls will indeed be open to voters on the previously agreed date of 27 October, however this was merely a requisite move aimed at supporting the IEC’s court bid.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma issues proclamation of 2021 IEC elections  

Dlamini-Zuma said on Tuesday that if the ConCourt does not agree to the postponement, she doesn’t think there are other avenues of recourse. 

“Because nobody has the powers – there’s no legislation that gives the government, or COGTA or the IEC to postpone the elections,” she said. “If there was, we would have postponed them without going to court.”

In response to the proclamation, IEC Chairperson Glen Mashinini said that the court documents are prepared and will be submitted in due course, but clarified that the proclamation triggers the requirement for the Commission to publish an election timetable, which spans 85 days and lays down the key dates and deadlines for various electoral milestones until voting day on 27 October 2021.

“The proclamation has a number of implications for the Electoral Commission and the electoral programme. The immediate implication is that the voters’ roll for these elections closes at midnight on 3 August 2021,” said Mashinini. 

Commission released 85-day timetable 

The IEC said that the unprecedented the court application to postpone elections in line with the recommendations of the Moseneke Report is an “extraordinary one with a bearing on political rights”. 

“The application will undoubtedly offer the constitutional court another opportunity to contribute to the evolving jurisprudence of our constitutional order,” said Mashinini.

“The Commission will undertake the activities which must be performed in terms of the timetable until a competent court orders differently,” he said, adding that the application will be launched on an urgent basis because “there is need for certainty on the preparations for the municipal elections”.

Mashinini said that a a total of 14 submissions were received from various political organisations and considered by the Commission in the final determination of election deposits, with 25.7 million voters registered on the voters roll. 

He added that since the introduction of the electronic registration, there have been 17 964 successful registrations.