Ramaphosa sets the date for the 2021 local government elections

 ·22 Apr 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the local government elections will take place on Wednesday, 27 October 2021.

This will be the sixth time under South Africa’s democratic dispensation that voters will elect leadership and public representatives at metropolitan, district and local level.

“The president urges eligible – and especially first-time voters – to ensure they are registered to participate in the elections which provide the basis for development and service delivery closest to where citizens live,” the government said in a statement.

“The minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs will follow the necessary legal process to proclaim the date and undertake other requirements.”

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said that it plans to introduce new voting management devices for the 2021 municipal elections.

In a presentation to parliament at the start of April, the commission said that the devices will replace the ‘zip-zip’ devices that had previously been used.

The commission said that the new generation technology will allow for enhanced voter registration and monitoring of voter participation in real-time, including:

  • The ability to capture an address or place of residence during registration and to verify the address against ward boundaries;
  • To serve as online real-time voters’ roll on election day to further prevent multiple voting and to provide further demographic details of voter participation.

The IEC said that would also launch a revamped public website and app for improved navigation and communications.

Other technology enhancements that the commission intends to introduce include a public reporting app for disinformation on social media.

South Africa’s 2019 national elections were marred by instances where voters were able to cast more than one vote at different voting stations.

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