Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
3 minute read
21 Sep 2021
10:46 am

EXPLAINER: Here’s a rundown of the elections timetable ahead of voting day

Thapelo Lekabe

Here is a summary of the IEC's elections timetable.

Picture: Gallo Images/Alet Pretorius

With South Africans set to cast their ballots on 1 November in this year’s local government elections, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Monday gazetted the amended elections timetable in the run-up to the polls.

The timetable was amended after the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) last month dismissed the IEC’s urgent application to postpone the elections to February 2022 due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions on public gatherings.

The elections timetable outlines various processes that have to be followed by political parties and independent candidates before 1 November.

Monday 20 September

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma proclaimed 1 November as the new date for the municipal elections to be held, meaning the voters’ roll has now been officially closed.

20 September was also the day the elections timetable was published by the IEC. Applications for special votes were opened on Monday and will close on 4 October 2021 at 5pm.

Tuesday 21 September

Tuesday is the cut-off date for parties and independent candidates intending to contest the elections to submit their nominations and prescribed election deposits by 5pm.

Several parties missed the original IEC deadline of 23 August to register candidates, like the ANC, which did not submit its party lists and ward candidate nominations in 20 municipalities and 598 wards. 

The IEC will also open the provisionally compiled voters’ roll for inspection and objections. Over 1.7 million voters registered during the special two-day registration weekend which took place from 18 to 19 September.

Wednesday 22 September

Parties and independent candidates have until Thursday 23 September to answer requests from the IEC, which include the submission of ID copies and/or signed acceptance of nomination to contest the elections.

Failure to comply with the commission’s requests could result in “disqualification of the candidate concerned”. 

Thursday 23 September

This is the day the IEC will close the inspection and objections to the voters’ roll. The commission will decide on objections to voters’ roll on Friday 24 September, Heritage Day.

Friday is also the cut-off date for the IEC to notify parties and independent candidates if they appear on multiple party lists so that discrepancies can be corrected.

Parties and independent candidates will have until 5pm on Saturday 25 September to submit revised or substituted
lists in regard to candidates on multiple party lists.

Sunday 26 September

This is the deadline for the IEC to certify and publish the final voters’ roll for the 1 November elections.

Wednesday 29 September

This is the cut-off date for the IEC to compile lists of parties contesting the municipal election and their certification. The commission also has to make the lists available to the public, including ward candidates for each ward.

Friday 1 October

The IEC has to issue a “candidate certificate” to all candidates contesting the polls.

Monday 4 October

The IEC will close applications for special votes on this day.

From 30 and 31 October, voters who applied to cast their special votes at a voting station can visit their stations between 8am and 5pm to cast their ballots. On the same dates, voting officers must visit voters who applied to cast their special votes at their places of residence.

Friday 15 October

The IEC has to provide a list of all addresses and locations of voting stations open for inspection ahead of the elections.

1 November 2021

This is election day.

READ NEXT: Over 600k registered in successful voter registration weekend