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'There's going to be gnashing of teeth': Shilowa questions UDM's readiness for local government elections

23 April 2021 - 11:35 By unathi nkanjeni
Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa. File photo.
Former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa. File photo.
Image: Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images

Former Gauteng premier and member of the UDM, Mbhazima Shilowa, has questioned the party's readiness for local government elections. 

This week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that local government elections will take place on October 27.

SA will join several other countries around the world who have held elections during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Shilowa, the upcoming elections could be stressful for the party. 

“I wonder if my party is ready for the local government elections. Looks like there is going to be gnashing of teeth,” he said.

Shilowa said there was more to voting than simply being for or against a party and advised those who belong to parties to avoid the “echo chamber”. 

“There is more to voting than simple for or against. Multiple factors are at place,” said Shilowa. 

“You may agree with parts of a party platform and be riled by its leadership or policies and vice versa. So guys who belong to parties, remember to avoid the echo chamber.”

New voting devices

Earlier this month, CEO of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), Sy Mamabolo, said the commission would launch new management voting devices to replace the old “zip zip” device, and will improve efforts to prevent multiple voting at this year's local government election. 

Mamabolo told SABC News the “game-changer” devices will allow the IEC to capture voters’ addresses and verify them against their respective wards.

“It’s an important development within our registration framework. The voter management devices will do a number of business processes in one transaction,” said Mamabolo. 

“First, we will scan the ID and take the names of the voter. We will also capture the address at the point of interaction. On election day, the voter management device will be operating online to check if the person has voted elsewhere, and it will minimise the allegations of people having voted twice in the election.

“It’s an innovation that will try increasing the perceived integrity of the process.”