By: Poelano Malema
The next local elections in South Africa is due to be held in November 2021.
However, several political parties have asked for a postponement, citing that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the country’s readiness to hold the elections.
IFP has become the latest party to ask for a postponement, joining the EFF.
“South Africa is in dire straits having to confront Covid-19 pandemic and the rolling lockdown which has prevailed on the country,” IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said in a statement.
“It has been a disturbance to campaigning, voter registration, and the state of readiness generally on the IEC, political parties and the electorate. We are not on the level any of us can be satisfied that campaigning and elections will be successful, free and fair and credible,” he added.
The party wants the elections to be pushed back to May 2022.
“We are therefore calling for the elections to be postponed to May 2022 as we believe that at that point South Africa would have moved in the direction which can allay collective anxiety about these elections,” he added.
The party says this will give the country enough time to vaccinate more people, in order to ensure a safer election.
“We believe that this milestone will not be possible by November 2021, as the current vaccination drive has been very slow, with barely 250 000 of our healthcare professionals vaccinated to date.
“Postponing until May 2022 will allow additional – safe – opportunities for campaigning, as well as for a more extensive Voter Registration drive,” Hlengwa adds.
The call from the EFF and IFP comes after the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) told Parliament that it was not within its authority to extend the terms of councillors or postpone elections.
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