Africa-Press – South-Africa. Johannesburg – The Electoral Court has postponed several by-elections which were due to be held in at least four provinces across the country due to the Covid-19 adjusted level 3 lockdown.
The court made its decision on February 4 when it authorised the postponement of by-elections scheduled to be held during March due to the continued Covid-19 level 3 lockdown restrictions which prohibit political activities.
IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said this brings to 24 the number of ward by-elections which have been postponed since the start of 2021 due to the second Covid-19 wave and its associated restrictions.
“The Electoral Commission approached the Electoral Court for approval to extend the period within which the by-elections scheduled to be held on March 3, 2021, and March 31, 2021, to a date not beyond 120 days from the date of the Court Order,” Bapela said.
On March 3, by-elections were due to be held at Intsika Yethu Local Municipality, Port St Johns; King Sabata Dalindyebo and in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro – all of them in the Eastern Cape.
KwaZulu-Natal was supposed to have a by-election in one ward in Mhlathuze, while Mpumalanga was supposed to hold one at Emalahleni.
The province is also due to have three by-elections – two wards in Mhlathuze and another in Pongola on March 31. Limpopo province was also supposed to have a by-election at Mogalakwena on March 31.
Bapela said all these by-elections have now been rescheduled for May 19 along with those by-elections which had previously been postponed in January.
In January, the Electoral Court also postponed by-elections in Ekurhuleni’s ward 43 in Gauteng; in Nqutu in KwaZulu-Natal and Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga.
The court’s decision also affected elections which were due to be held in February at the City of Joburg’s two wards in Gauteng, one in Maluti a Phofung in the Free State and two wards in the Limpopo towns of Makhado and Fetakgomo Tubatse.
On Wednesday, by-elections were supposed to be held in four wards in Tshwane in Gauteng, one each in Matatiele in the Eastern Cape and one at eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal.