The Chief Electoral Officer of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), Sy Mamabolo, says everything is ready and in place for the by-elections taking place in 95 wards across 55 municipalities in all nine provinces on Wednesday.
Voting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 11 November, between 7am and 9pm in 455 voting stations, of which 233 (51%) are in schools, 65 (14%) are in places of worship and 157 (35%) are in other structures.
The results of the by-elections are expected to be announced by midday on Thursday.
According to Mamabolo, the by-elections are the first to be held since election activities were suspended in March this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are a “catch-up” of all by-elections postponed between March and September.
Mamabolo says a total of 609 133 voters are on the certified voters’ rolls for the various by-elections.
A total of 23 008 (3.7%) applied and have been approved to cast special votes — 12 218 via home visits and 10 790 at their voting station. The Commission says special votes will be cast tomorrow.
“The Electoral Commission is confident that the by-elections will be free, fair and safe – as long as all stakeholders conform to the strict safety measures and protocols put in place at voting stations.
“Protective equipment, including masks, gloves and face shields, have been procured for election staff at voting stations and for conducting home visits for those voters who are physically disabled, infirm or pregnant,” said Mamabolo.
The Electoral Commission said it is confident that all logistical, human resource and safety preparations are in place to ensure free, fair and safe elections on Wednesday.
The by-elections include two dissolved councils in the Northern Cape, where PR candidates must also be elected (nine PR seats in Phokwane and three PR seats in Renosterberg).
Voters are reminded to only vote at the voting station where they are registered.
The by-elections are being contested by 40 political parties with a total of 444 candidates certified as contestants. This includes 19 independent candidates.
Of the candidates, 305 (69%) are male and 139 (31%) are female.
Mamabolo said all the necessary election equipment has been procured and distributed to warehouses and will be transported to voting stations tomorrow.