The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), African National Congress (ANC) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are vying for the vacant councillor position in Ward 13 of the uMhlathuze Local Municipality, where two councillors were recently shot.
ANC councillor Lindokuhle Ndlovu resigned in July, days after he survived a hit.
He was shot at while driving in Mpembeni near Richards Bay.
After the shooting, the uMhlathuze council's leadership visited Ndlovu's home and promised to provide him with bodyguards, according to a municipal statement.
But he would not be convinced to stay on as councillor, so a by-election had to be declared.
Ndlovu's shooting came two weeks after African Christian Democratic Party proportional representation (PR) councillor John Myaka was gunned down.
By-elections aren't declared in relation to PR councillors.
An affected political party simply replaces them from its list of candidates.
The IFP has fielded Siboniso Ndunakazi while the ANC opted for Thandeka Makutshwa and the EFF went with Lucky Nzima to battle for Ward 13.
In a last-minute push, ANC provincial chairperson Siboniso Duma said, "The people are happy with our candidate. They want the community to return [to the hands of the ANC]."
He described Makutshwa as a "well-known" activist and said she was someone who "will sleep tonight as a councillor".
He said residents had promised to return uMhlathuze to the hands of the ANC.
uMhlathuze IFP Mayor Xolani Ngwezi said of Ndunakazi: "He enjoys a lot of support in this ward. In a meeting of 1 500 members of the IFP, 500 nominated him. The people are confident in him and he has been part of IFP structures since he was very young."
Ngwezi said the IFP would lean on the late IFP president Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi's legacy to carry the party past the finish line.
He said Buthelezi was known for building roads and mega infrastructures in the area, adding that the IFP had delivered services to the area between 2005 and 2007, before the ANC took over.