A total of 444 candidates from 40 political parties will contest the by-elections in 95 wards on November 11, said the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) on Tuesday when giving an update about the local government by-elections.
“A total of 444 candidates, including 19 independent candidates, were certified as contestants for the by-elections by the Electoral Commission yesterday. Of the candidates, 305 (69 percent) are male and 139 (31 percent) are female,” said IEC spokesperson, Kate Bapela.
She said that voters, election staff, and all those entering the voting station will be required to wear a mask at all times. Bapela, therefore, encouraged voters to bring their own pens to mark their ballot papers, although pens will be provided and sanitized after each use.
“The by-elections will be held under strict new COVID-19 protocols aimed at ensuring the safety of voters, election staff, party agents, observers and other stakeholders. These include implementing strict social distancing practices outside and inside voting stations along with the use of hand sanitisers as voters enter and exit the voting station,” she said.
The by-elections are held about a year before the local government elections to fill vacant posts resulting from death, resignation, expulsion and other reasons. They were postponed from March because of the COVID-19.