Only two parties contesting all municipalities (but it's a secret)

The Electoral Commission says only two parties are contesting every council in the upcoming elections — but says it would be premature to name them.

24 August 2021 - 18:17 By nonkululeko njilo
A total of 59,272 candidates were captured on the IEC's system to contest 10,285 seats in the upcoming election. File photo.
A total of 59,272 candidates were captured on the IEC's system to contest 10,285 seats in the upcoming election. File photo.
Image: Reuters

With many of SA’s local municipalities on the brink of collapse, just two political parties are vying to compete for power in all of them in the upcoming local government elections.

The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said this on Tuesday.   

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo made the remarks hours after the commission’s deadline for political parties and independent candidates competing in the polls to submit their nominations and pay their deposits.

Mamabolo said it would be premature to reveal the names of the two parties.

A total of 59,272 candidates were captured on the IEC's system to contest 10,285 seats in different municipal councils, including the country's metros. Of the candidates, 74% were captured through the online system, while 26% came through manual submissions. 

Mamabolo said 276 political parties submitted candidate lists but only two are contesting all 257 municipalities in the country.

Of the 257,  only 27 achieved clean audits, which went hand-in-hand with the deteriorating state of local government, auditor-general Tsakani Maluleke said in June this year.

The total number of independents captured is 944, an increase of  89 over the previous election in 2016.   

On the deposits, the commission said: “As at this morning, the total election deposits paid amount to just over R7m. Some payments were made late last night through electronic funds transfer and these may take up to 48 hours to reflect in the bank account of the commission.”

Mamabolo said local offices of the commission were still capturing manual submissions that had been received by the cut-off time of 9pm Monday. He said they planned to conclude the capturing by the end of Tuesday.

On Friday August 27 the commission's CEO is expected to notify political parties of any non-compliance that may have arisen. “In this regard, contestants will have until Monday August 30 to correct the non-compliance.”  

The commission thanked political parties and candidates who participated in the process. 

“We wish to thank political parties and independent candidates for their continued interest in electoral democracy. Such interest tells us that the electoral democratic project is well and alive in the country. It is not lost to the commission that the unfolding nomination process had to be undertaken against the backdrop of a pernicious pandemic which is threatening our collective existence,” added Mamabolo. 

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