While the African National Congress maintains that local government elections “must” be held in October as scheduled, the party is also reiterating calls for the postponement and made it clear that it is supporting Independent Electorate Commission’s (IEC) court bid for the extension.
The party on Wednesday revealed that it will be holding a special extended NEC meeting to ratify candidates for local government elections.
“The Extended NEC is composed of ANC NEC members as well as representatives of ANC provinces, the ANC
Women’s League, Veterans’ League, ANC National Youth Task Team, South African Communist Party, and
Congress of South African Trade Unions,” the party said.
It said that the local government elections “must take place on 27 October 2021, unless they are postponed by the Constitutional Court.”
The IEC heads to the Constitutional Court this week in a bid to postpone the local government elections to 28 February 28 next year, citing the difficulties in holding free and fair elections during a pandemic.
Nearly a dozen political parties and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been admitted as either intervening parties or friends of the court, most of them arguing against any delays on the grounds that local government is dysfunctional and must be repaired without delay.
The Electoral Commission’s case rests largely on the so-called Moseneke Report, which made various recommendations to reduce the potential for transmission of Covid-19 by, for example, extending voter registration, expanded special voting arrangements for the ill and vaccinations for poll workers.
It also recommended delaying the elections from October 2021 to February 2022 as it felt the elections would not be free, fair and safe if held in October this year.
The said that it has successfully applied to be joined as a party to the IEC’s application for extension of the elections, based on the recommendations of the inquiry by former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.
Additional reporting by Moneyweb