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The Electoral Commission has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of the country’s return to Alert Level 1 which allows the resumption of some political activities.

“The relaxation of the restrictions paves the way for the holding of by-elections for municipal ward vacancies which arose since the last by-election in early December,” the IEC said in a statement on Monday.

The President made the announcement of the move to Level 1 in an address to the nation on Sunday.

Under the eased restrictions, political activities including political gatherings of up to 100 people in an indoor venue and 250 people in an outdoor venue are now allowed.

According to the IEC, the outstanding by-elections scheduled to be held on 21 April and 19 May will help to “clear the decks” of vacancies ahead of the Local Government Elections scheduled for between 4 August and 1 November.

A total of 45 by-elections across 37 municipalities in all nine provinces are scheduled affecting 362 431 registered voters.

Under the current Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, the cut-off for the filling of ward vacancies ahead of the elections is 1 May (six months from the latest possible date for the Local Government Elections).

The nine-month deadline for the cessation of by-elections in the case of dissolved municipal councils (1 February 2021) has already passed.

‘The resumption of by-elections is therefore one of the final opportunities ahead of the Local Government Elections for the Electoral Commission, political parties, independent candidates and other stakeholders to test their protocols for campaigning, voter registration, voting and counting of ballots while maintaining COVID-19 safety measures,” said the Commission.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission was able to conduct free, fair and safe by-elections in November and December last year during the previous Alert Level 1 phase of restrictions. The Commission remains confident that it can conduct further by-elections under the same conditions.

The following by-elections will be held on 21 April 2021 with voter registration planned for 13 – 14 March 2021:

Province                           Municipality                    Ward number/s                            Registered voters

Eastern Cape                   BUF – Buffalo City                          20                                      8 798

KwaZulu-Natal                 ETH – eThekwini                            6                                         18 116

KZN292 –                           KwaDukuza                                    5                                         4 350

KZN294 – Maphumulo                                                             5 & 7                                 8 993

KZN434 –                           uBuhlebezwe                                 4                                         4 754

KZN435 –                           uMzimkhulu                                   20                                      4 765

Limpopo                            LIM332 – Greater Letaba              15                                      3 856

Mpumalanga                   MP305 – Lekwa                              11                                      4 930

North West                      NW372 – Madibeng                       40                                      6 724

Northern Cape                 NC062 – NAMA KHOI                     2                                         3 067

NC452 –                             GA-SEGONYANA                            2                                         3 952

Western Cape                  CPT – City of Cape Town               20                                      17 861

WC048 –                            Knysna                                             11                                      2 810

WC053 –                            Beaufort West                                4                                         3 276

7 provinces                       14 municipalities                           15 (71 VDs)                      96 252

The following by-elections are scheduled for 19 May 2021 with voter registration being planned for 10- 11 April 2021

Province                           Municipality                                  Ward/s                             Registered voters

Eastern Cape                    EC122 – Mnquma                          28                                      4 345

EC124 Amahlathi                           11                                      3 204

EC135 – Intsika Yethu                   17                                      3 325

EC154 – Port St Johns                   09                                      3 450

EC157 – King Sabata Dalindyebo 34                                      5 673

EC441 – Matatiele                         11                                      3 698

NMA – Nelson Mandela Bay        17                                      6 857

Free State                         FS184 – Matjhabeng                     35                                      5 630

FS194 – Maluti a Phofung             25                                      4 322

Gauteng                            EKU – Ekurhuleni                           43                                      17 285

JHB – City of Johannesburg          7, 17, 18, 23                     74 933

TSH – Tshwane Metro                   3, 58, 88, 92                     55 768

KwaZulu-Natal                 ETH – eThekwini                             110                                    19 190

KZN282 – uMhlathuze                  15                                      6 442

KZN242 – Nqutu                             11                                      5 707

KZN262 – uPhongolo                     14                                      3 877

KZN282 – uMhlathuze                  15, 22, 30                         16 164

Limpopo                            LIM344 – Makhado                       38                                      5 663

LIM367 – Mogalakwena               23                                      5 704

LIM476 – Fetakgomo Tubatse     13                                      6 429

Mpumalanga                   MP312 – Emalahleni                      33                                      4 731

MP313 – Steve Tshwete               22                                      3 646

MP325 – Bushbuckridge               21                                      6 578

6         provinces            23 municipalities                           30 wards (184 VDs)            266 179

SAnews.gov.za

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