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A few things you need to know about the municipal elections

Before you cast your vote on 3 August, you need to know what you are voting for.

Every five years

Municipal elections are held every five years to elect councillors who will be responsible for governing a municipality for the next five years. Municipal councils are responsible for services that impact the daily lives of citizens in their areas, including water, electricity and sanitation.

Local government in South Africa

Local government in South Africa is made up of municipalities which are run by councils. There are three kinds of municipalities: metropolitan municipalities which are big cities; local municipalities which are towns and rural areas; and district municipalities which coordinate local municipalities in a region.

South Africa’s local government is currently made up of eight metropolitan municipalities, 44 district municipalities, and 207 local municipalities.The eight metropolitan municipalities are:

  • Buffalo City (East London): 392,021 registered voters*
  • City of Cape Town: 1,883,592 registered voters*
  • City of Johannesburg: 2,152,112 registered voters*
  • City of Tshwane (Pretoria): 1,434,931 registered voters*
  • Ekurhuleni (East Rand): 1,520,553 registered voters*
  • Ethekwini (Durban): 1,800,492 registered voters*
  • Mangaung (Bloemfontein): 393,629 registered voters*
  • Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth): 580,254 registered voters*.

* Registration figures as at September 2015

What do observers do?

An observer is a neutral outsider who is present and sees what happens during voting, counting and the determination and declaration of results. They can tell the world whether the process was transparent, free and fair.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have questions about the upcoming elections and do not know where to find the answers? The Independent Electoral Commission or Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has a list of frequently asked questions where you may find the answer to your question.

Contact the IEC

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