The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has announced that the local government elections will be held on November 1, following her engagement with the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).
This follows the Constitutional Court’s (ConCourt’s) dismissal of the IEC’s application to postpone the elections.
The IEC had sought retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke's evaluation of the impact Covid-19 would have on the holding of free and fair elections on October 27.
On advice from Moseneke’s report, the IEC had applied to the court to have the elections postponed, saying it could not be held safely owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The court, however, ruled that the elections should take place this year between October 27 and November 1.
Dlamini-Zuma said the elections are taking place under unusual conditions as the country battles the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I affirm my commitment, stated in my explanatory affidavit, to abide by the decision of the Constitutional Court. Therefore, I accept the Constitutional Court decision to set aside the proclamation,” she said.
In complying with the ConCourt order the IEC has announced that the voter registration weekend will be held on September 18 and 19.
Dlamini-Zuma added that the proclamation of the election date will happen on September 20, after the registration week.
She urged South Africans to follow all hygiene guidelines such as sanitising, social distancing and washing of hands as the elections will be held during the pandemic.
Discussions will be held to decide whether November 1 will be a public holiday.