The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has announced it will reopen its candidate registration process for the 2021 local government elections later this month.
IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini made the announcement on Monday at a media briefing in Centurion, Pretoria. The candidate registration process will reopen on 20 September after the voter registration weekend.
The reopening of the candidate registration will allow parties to submit their candidates after they missed the IEC’s initial 23 August deadline to register candidates.
The ANC was among the parties that did not register its candidates for the upcoming polls. The governing party failed to register candidates in more than 90 municipalities.
The DA and EFF vowed to challenge the IEC should it reopen the candidate registration process.
On Friday, the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) dismissed the IEC’s application to postpone this year’s municipal elections to February 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The apex court ordered the commission to prepare for an election to be held before 1 November as well as announce an election programme leading up to the polls.
Mashinini said the amendments to the electoral timetable, which includes the candidate registration process, were necessary.
“This is permitted by the Constitutional Court’s order, which make clear that the commission is entitled to ‘publish such amendments to the current timetable as may be reasonably necessary’.
“This includes the need to set a new deadline for candidate nominations. The scheme of the Municipal Electoral Act is such that the voter registration deadline is intended to precede the candidate nomination deadline,” he said.
Voter registration weekend
The voter registration weekend will be from 18 to 19 September. This will be for eligible voters to register or change their particulars on the national voters’ roll in time for elections.
The applications for special votes will open 20 September and close on 4 October.
The minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, is expected to announce a new date for the elections between 27 October and 1 November.