IEC chair urges voters to make mark in by-elections to strengthen democracy

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More than 400 candidates are contesting the elections in 55 municipalities across all nine provinces.

DURBAN – IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini has encouraged more than 600,000 eligible voters to make their mark in Wednesday’s by-elections to strengthen democracy.

More than 400 candidates are contesting the elections in 55 municipalities across all nine provinces.

Mashinini said that trained officials were ready to welcome voters today, with safety protocols having been established in consultation with health experts.

He has commended the Isikhumbuzo voting station at Umlazi, saying that he expected to see similar operations in other stations across the country.

“We are very impressed to see the level of preparation and training as well as the adherence to the safety requirements of the commission.”

Political parties are determined to ensure a high voter turnout despite rainy conditions in many parts of the country.

Senior politicians from various parties have taken a break from their roles as government officials Wednesday and have put on their party regalia to conduct door-to-door campaigns in a bid to ensure their preferred councillors are elected.

KwaZulu-Natal African National Congress (ANC) chairperson Sihle Zikalala is expected to tour ANC strongholds in Umlazi to retain wards previously under the party’s control.

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) president Velenkosini Hlabisa is expected to campaign at Mtubatuba where the ANC has recently taken over the local municipality through a vote of no-confidence against an IFP mayor.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)’s KZN leader, Zwakele Mncwango, is expected to take suburban parts of the province, from Port Shepstone to Durban north, where the party enjoys great support.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) KwaZulu-Natal chairperson, Vusi Khoza, will visit various townships in eThekwini in a bid to increase the party’s seats within the eThekwini council.

SERVICE DELIVERY

Zamokuhle Ngcobo is one of the first people to cast her ballots here at Umlazi.

She hopes that her preferred candidate will win and ensure development in her community.

“I hope that through my vote we’ll see improvement in my community. I’m hoping for service delivery.”

The IEC said that it was confident that the by-elections would be free and fair as long as all participants followed the rules.

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