IEC Declares South Africa’s Municipal Elections Free, Fair

The 2021 municipal elections have been given a clean bill of health by the Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC), declaring the democratic process free and fair.

Chief Electoral Officer, Independent Electoral Commission of SA, Glen Mashinini stated that the commission was glad that it was still flying high the banner of electoral integrity, excellence as well as free and fair elections.

He said the election results were determined in terms of Section 54 (1) (b) of the Municipal Electoral Act while noting that the whole process was a test for political parties, the commission and the voters as they were hosted under challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, bad weather and power cuts.

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However, despite the challenges the commission, he stated that they achieved its innovative objectives of taking the electoral system to the next level of automation, which was the introduction of the voter management device to eliminate allegations of double voting.

He said the commission had received and cleared 290 objections after investigations.

Of the 26.1 million registered voters, 12 million cast their ballots.

The ANC walked away with 161 municipalities, the DA 13 municipalities, while the IFP achieved the majority in 10 municipalities.

There were at least 66 hung municipalities where outright winners could not be declared.

President Cyril Ramaphosa described the elections as another milestone in the advancement of the country’s democracy.

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He said the elections were contested by 325 political parties and nearly 95 000 candidates, of whom 1 500 were independent candidates.

“The people of South Africa want their lives improved. They want better services. They want their representatives to be responsive and also to be accountable. They want to live in a better South Africa where their lives are realised and treated with respect,” Ramaphosa said.

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