Here’s how much it could cost you to contest the upcoming local government elections

22 June 2021 - 09:30 By kyle zeeman
The Electoral Commission has proposed rates of deposits for the upcoming local government elections.
The Electoral Commission has proposed rates of deposits for the upcoming local government elections.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

Parties and independent candidates intending to contest the local government elections later this year could pay as much as R482,000 in deposits.

The proposed deposit rates were gazetted last week, along with a call this week by the Electoral Commission (IEC) for public comment.

“The commission noted that it is yet to make a determination with regard to the amount of the election deposits for Municipal Elections 2021 and will accordingly consider all representations and comments in arriving at a final determination prior to the opening of candidate nominations,” the IEC said in a statement.

Comment must be submitted by 4pm next Friday, July 2. Details on how to submit comment can be found here.

The proposed rates for metros, local councils, local districts and wards are as follows:

  • Metro: R3,500 (the same as 2016 elections, R500 less than 2011 elections)
  • Local Council: R2,000 (the same as 2016 elections, R500 less than 2011 elections)
  • District Council: R1,000 (the same as 2016 elections, R500 less than 2011 elections)
  • Ward: R1,000, if the party is not contesting a proportional representation election or an independent ward candidate (the same as 2016 elections, R500 less than 2011 elections)

HOW MUCH TO CONTEST THE WHOLE ELECTIONS?

There will be elections in eight metros, 44 district councils, 205 local councils and 4,468 wards, which means a political party contesting all elections across the country would pay a deposit of R482,000.

HOW DOES IT COMPARE WITH NATIONAL AND PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS?

In comparison, contesting all 10 elections in the 2019 national and provincial elections cost parties R605,000 each.

WHEN ARE THE ELECTIONS?

The local government elections are scheduled for Oct. 27, 2021.

However, there have been calls for the elections to be postponed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

As reported by Nonkululeko Njilo for TimesLIVE earlier this month, EFF leader Julius Malema told a news briefing that allowing the elections to go ahead was “reckless” and could lead to an avalanche of Covid-19 super-spreader events.  

He called on the IEC to cease all election-related activities

“We reiterate our call despite our own readiness for the 2021 elections to be postponed in the interest of saving millions of lives. The duty to preserve lives is the highest of duties. People must be alive before they can vote and be voted for.”

The IEC recently appointed former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke to conduct an independent review of whether the elections would be free and fair during the pandemic.

Amanda Khoza reported for TimesLIVE that the commission had declared it is technically ready to hold the elections in October and believed they should go ahead.


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