By-Elections A Test Run For National Elections

 The national elections will be taking place next year, but how will voting take place with Covid-19? It seems much thought and planning has already gone into how these elections will take place.  

The by-elections, taking place across all nine provinces, got off to a good start today. These elections take place in 95 wards across 55 municipalities.

There are more than 444 candidates running, 305 candidates are male and 139 candidates are female.

The IEC chairperson said the President's announcement of level 1 allowed the commission to go ahead with the elections.

"As the commission, we were very anxious and concerned that the backlog of local government elections must be dealt with,"

He said the IEC wanted to have the by-elections as a "dry-run" in preparation for the national elections taking place next year. 

This has helped the commission figure out how to run the elections with Covid-19 in mind.

Training recently moved online for those employed by the commission in preparation for the elections. 

"The feedback that I have received from the personnel in this voting station as well as those who came to vote — they are all saying thumbs up to the electoral commission and we can only now say this provides us with a good prototype for future plans."

The commission has spent more than R3 million on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the current by-elections 

This amount was unbudgeted for, and it has raised concerns that the reallocation of funds will affect other programmes of the IEC.

The commission will be approaching the National Treasury to ask for more funds.



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