This comes after the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) told Parliament that it was not within its authority to extend the terms of councillors or postpone elections amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said the party believed this brief postponement would provide sufficient opportunity for all parties involved to make the necessary preparations.
“We do not, however, support the extended postponement and proposed amalgamation of the LGE, Provincial and the National Elections until 2024, as has been suggested by other parties. The roles and functions of these three spheres of government are vastly different, and it will also dilute campaigning,” Hlengwa said in a statement on Thursday.
The IFP believes the shorter postponement – until May 2022 – would ensure that no amendment to the Constitution was required, rather just a resolution, in light of the unprecedented circumstances created due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
By postponing the local government elections until May 2022, there will also be a much-needed opportunity for the people of South Africa to attain “herd immunity” – where more than 60% of the population has been vaccinated, the party said.
“We believe that this milestone will not be possible by November 2021, as the current vaccination drive has been very slow, with barely 250 000 of our healthcare professionals vaccinated to date.
“Postponing until May 2022 will allow additional – safe – opportunities for campaigning, as well as for a more extensive Voter Registration drive,” Hlengwa said.
Currently, the IEC is proposing just one Voter Registration weekend to which the IFP said it did not believe was sufficient, particularly in light of the large cohort of young people who need to register.