'We are ready for local elections': Gvt says

JULY 20, 2016

Government has reaffirmed that its plans are in place to deliver free and fair municipal elections.

In just 14 days time, South Africans go to the polls for the fourth democratic local government elections on 3 August. There are also only 13 days left before the casting of special votes for home visitation and at voting stations.

On Tuesday, the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on elections -- led by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs -- met in Pretoria to take final stock of preparations. 

Among the issues discussed was the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the Tlokwe matter, as well as concerns surrounding violence in hotspots.

“The IMC meeting evaluated all information on the state of readiness in as far as local government elections are concerned. It also reviewed the issue of the assignment of addresses, in accordance with the Constitutional Court ruling on this matter.

“The IMC discussion also brought into sharp focus the readiness of the Electoral Commission, issues of security during elections and an overview of the local government transition after the elections,” COGTA spokesperson Legadima Leso said on Tuesday after the meeting.

The IMC, led by COGTA Minister Des van Rooyen, includes Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, the two COGTA Deputy Ministers, COGTA MECs, senior government officials, Statistics South Africa, IEC, South African Police Service, Government Communication and Information System, South African Local Government Association, Municipal Demarcation Board and other key stakeholders.

The IMC is tasked with overseeing the elections and ensuring that voters are able to cast their votes in an environment that is both free and fair. 

To ensure a safe environment, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) has been convened and its sub-committee on elections is coordinating safety and security planning for the elections.

A series of outreach activities will be conducted in various municipalities across the country to ensure a safe election.

The Department of Home affairs has, meanwhile, urged all citizens to ensure they have valid identity documents to enable them to vote. The department’s working hours have been extended ahead of the elections across the country.

The new working hours across the country are:

  • Saturday, 30 July 2016 – 08h30 to 17h00
  • Monday, 1 August 2016 – 08h30 to 18h00
  • Tuesday, 2 August 2016 – 08h30 to 18h00
  • Wednesday, 3 August 2016 – 07h00 to 19h00

This will allow citizens to collect their green barcoded ID books, smart ID cards or temporary ID certificates.

The total of all uncollected identity documents, according to the department stands at 282 300. – SAnews.gov.za