Voter registration this weekend for wards to be contested in Municipal By-elections on 11 November 2020

Voter registration will be held this weekend for the 96 municipal ward by-elections scheduled to take place in 56 municipalities on Wednesday, 11 November 2020. By-elections are scheduled in all nine provinces across 461 voting districts affecting over 600 000 registered voters.

Voting stations in affected wards will be open this Saturday, 3 October 2020, and Sunday, 4 October 2020, from 08h00 to 17h00 to allow all eligible voters to register and for current voters to check their registration details and to provide/update address details where necessary.

Voters who are already registered have the further option to check their registration status online at www.elections.org.za/ieconline/ if they have internet access, or to SMS their ID number to 32810 at a cost of R1 per SMS. Voters can also use these facilities to check if they are affected by the by-elections.

Voters must please remember to take their identity document (ID) with them – either a green barcoded ID book, a smartcard ID, or a valid Temporary ID Certificate. They will also need to complete their physical home address on registration or provide sufficient particularities of their place of residence.

Documented proof of address (e.g. a municipal account) is not required. Voters are reminded that it is a criminal offence to register and vote in a ward in which they are not ordinarily resident.

The by-elections will be held under strict new COVID-19 protocols aimed at ensuring the safety of voters, election staff, party agents, observers and other stakeholders. These include implementing strict social distancing practices outside and inside voting stations along with the use of hand sanitisers as voters enter and exit the voting station.

Voters, election staff and all those entering the voting station will be required to wear a mask at all times. Voters are also encouraged to bring their own pens to mark their ballot papers, although pens will be provided and sanitized after each use.

As announced last week, the Electoral Commission plans to clear the backlog of all outstanding by-elections simultaneously on 11 November 2020. By-elections have not been held since March 2020 following the declaration of a National State of Disaster and the imposition of the lockdown restrictions intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Since then, 96 ward vacancies in 56 municipalities have occurred including two dissolved councils in the Northern Cape where proportional representation (PR) candidates must also be elected (9 PR seats in Phokwane and 3 PR seats in Renosterberg.

The scheduling of by-elections follows the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the country is to move to alert level 1 which will include the lifting of restrictions on political activities. The scheduling also follows consultations with the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs as well as represented political parties via a special National Party Liaison Committee meeting.

A full list of the affected wards is attached to this release.

Special voting will take place at voting stations as well as through home visits on 10 November 2020 between 08h00 and 17h00. Voters wishing to apply to cast a special vote can apply at their local IEC office during office hours between 26 and 30 October 2020.

Applications for special votes can also be made online via the IEC’s website, www.elections.org.za. Once voters have applied online they will receive an SMS notifying them of the outcome when their application has been processed. They can also check the status of their special vote application online at www.elections.org.za.

Voters can also apply for special votes via cellphone by SMSing their identity number to 32249 (Charged at R1). The SMS application facility is only available for those applying to cast a special vote at their voting station and NOT for home visits.

For more information on these by-elections contact your local (municipal) IEC office weekdays during office hours. Contact details for all IEC offices are available on the IEC website at www.elections.org.za under Contact Us.

ISSUED BY THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Ensuring free and fair elections

For media queries: Please contact Kate Bapela on 082 600 6386
For media interviews: Please email requests to spokesperson@elections.org.za

ELECTION TIMETABLE FOR ALL MUNICIPAL BY-ELECTIONS CALLED ON OR BEFORE 9 OCTOBER TO BE HELD ON 11 NOVEMBER 2020

The cut-off dates for the various electoral processes for these by-elections are as follows:
09 October: Notice calling the by-election on or before, and opening of nomination of candidates
15 October: Certification of the voters’ roll
19 October: Cut-off date and time for submission of nomination of candidates
20 October: Notify party/independent nominator of non-compliance of outstanding candidate documents
23 October: Cut-off date and time for party/independent to submit outstanding ward candidate documents
23 October: Notices: List of and particulars pertaining to voting stations and mobile voting stations
26 October: Compilation and certification of lists of candidates contesting a ward 
26 October: Issue certificates to candidates 
26 October: Opening of applications for special votes
30 October: Closing of applications for special votes
10 November: Special votes at voting stations and special vote home visits (08h00 to 17h00)
11 November:  By-election (Voting takes place at voting stations between 07h00 and 21h00)

(Note: All deadlines are at 17h00 on the date listed)