Call for public comments from the Inquiry into ensuring free and fair Local Government Elections during Covid-19

Call for public comments from the Inquiry into ensuring free and fair Local Government Elections during Covid-19 

1. The Inquiry into Ensuring Free and Fair Local Government Elections During COVID-19 (“Inquiry”) is inviting the public to provide their views on whether the Electoral Commission will be able to ensure that the forthcoming general local government elections are free and fair in view of (i) the challenges posed by the COVID 19 pandemic, and (ii) the measures promulgated by the government to curb the continued spread of the pandemic. 

2. Yesterday, 8 June 2021, the Inquiry launched its new website, which can be visited at https://www.elections.org.za/freeandfair/. Members of the public will be able to make submissions about the forthcoming local government elections on the website. Members of the public may also email their submissions to the Inquiry at freeandfair@elections.org.za or send voice notes to the Inquiry’s whatsapp number +27 63 863 4623. The final day for submissions from the public is Friday, 18 June 2021.

3. The Inquiry’s terms of reference, timetable and press releases are all available on the website. In addition, the Inquiry will be publishing all submissions received from key stakeholders on its website in order to ensure that the Inquiry is transparent and that the public has the necessary information to engage meaningfully with the Inquiry.   

4. On Friday, 4 June 2021, the Inquiry received submissions from the Electoral Commission. The Electoral Commission’s submissions are available on the Inquiry’s website.

5. In addition, the Inquiry has invited other key stakeholders to make submissions to it, which may have a bearing on the freeness and fairness of local government elections earmarked to be held in October 2021. Invitations to make submissions have been issued to independent health institutions, medical experts and electoral monitoring bodies, whose submissions are due on Tuesday, 15 June 2021.  Invitations have also been issued to the relevant Ministers and government departments, political parties and civil society organisations, all of whose submissions are due on Friday, 18 June 2021.

6. The Inquiry looks forward to engaging with the public and other stakeholders on its assignment of constitutional importance.  

ENDS