The Electoral Commission is set to turn to the Electoral Court to have the eight by-elections scheduled for Wednesday postponed.
The commission said it took the decision at an emergency meeting on Monday after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced additional measures to curb the third Covid-19 wave currently gripping the country.
Ramaphosa announced a level 4 lockdown which includes a ban on all gatherings (except for funerals), including political gatherings.
“Wednesday’s by-elections were the final by-elections scheduled to be conducted prior to the cessation of by-elections ahead of the Local Government Elections scheduled for October this year.
“They were to have taken place in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, the Northern Cape and Western Cape across 48 voting stations and involving 71 305 registered voters. They were to have been contested by 40 candidates from 14 political parties, and three three independent candidates,” said IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela.
Between March 2020 and March 2021 the Electoral Commission approached the Electoral Court to postpone more 100 by-elections during the first and second waves of the pandemic.
“These by-elections were safely conducted during lulls in the pandemic when restrictions were at level 1 during November and December 2020 and again during March, April and May 2021,” said Bapela.