The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has launched the Results Operation Centre (ROC) ahead of the local government elections next week.
The IEC was briefing the media in Tshwane on Tuesday to announce the state of readiness for voting day on Monday.
During the media briefing, IEC chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo said the ROC is “a window that facilitates the transparency impulse which is at the core of the electoral project”.
“The national ROC will be supported by nine other provincial results centres as well as over 200 local capturing sites spread throughout the country,” he said.
The 2021 local elections will take place on 1 November and will mark South Africa’s sixth municipal elections since the dawn of democracy in 1994.
How many people are registered to vote?
Mamabolo said there are 26.2 million citizens who are registered to participate in the local elections.
In the previous municipal elections that were held in 2016, approximately 26.3 million voters were registered.
There are more than 1.1 million, Mamabolo said, approved special votes, which closed on 4 October.
A special vote allows a registered voter who cannot travel to their voting station on the day of the election to vote earlier because they are either physically infirm, disabled or pregnant, or cannot vote at their voting station on election day due to other reasons.
Provinces and age groups with the highest number of registered voters
The IEC chief revealed that Gauteng has the highest number of registered voters of 23.6% followed by KwaZulu-Natal (20.79%) and the Eastern Cape (12.4%).
“The biggest age band of the voters roll is 30 to 39 years old at 25% followed by 40 to 49 years old at 21% and in the third place comes ages 20 to 29 at 16.73%,” he continued to say.
He also indicated that the voters roll coverage stands at 67.9%, which is based on the estimated voting age population of 38.5 million.
Number of parties and candidates contesting
He further said eligible voters are set to elect 10,468 councillors across in 257 different municipal councils.
“Eligible voters are set to elect 10,468 councillors who are to take seats in 257 different municipal councils,” Mamabolo said.
On the number of candidates and political parties, Mamabolo said this year’s election would be highly contested.
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“There are 95,427 candidates who qualified to take part in this election. In 2016, we just over 60,000 candidates who were contesting.
“Meanwhile, 61,111 candidate will contest wards and 34,316 candidates will contest the proportional representation seats. There are 1,546 independent candidates, and in a corresponding election in 2016 there were 855 independent candidates giving us a growth of 42%,” he further said.
Political parties and independent candidates will be contesting across all elections – which include 44 district councils, 205 local councils, eight metros and 4,468 wards.
Most contested municipality
The IEC chief added that the City of Johannesburg is the most contested municipal council across the country, with 56 political parties on the proportional representation ballot.
When will election results be released?
IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini said the commission could proclaim and announce the results on 4 November.
Mashinini vowed that measures were in place to ensure transparency and to ensure results could not be rigged.
He further said the IEC was ready to hold free and fair elections, despite the challenges faced throughout the year.