Nationally, over 600 000 voters are registered for Wednesday’s polls while some 23 000 have already cast their special votes on Tuesday. Over 40 political parties, fielding over 440 candidates, as well as 19 independents, will be contesting.
Polling stations are expected to open at 7am and close at 9pm with results expected on Thursday afternoon.
Political analyst Ivor Sarakinsky says there is a lot at stake for political parties with regards to the by-elections.
Sarakinsky says he believes the by-elections will be a barometer of how citizens view political parties and politics broadly at the current time.
“Political parties across the board are experiencing an internal turbulence as the by-elections will give an indication of how voters and citizens are responding to this internal turbulence. Secondly, we want to see how COVID-19 will have an impact on the turnout if we extrapolate from the provincial and national elections of last year where there was a 7% decline in turnout compared to 2014. It’s fair to say it will probably but the question is by how much?”
IEC sees Wednesday’s by-elections as a litmus test for the 2021 local government elections:
Over 160 000 voters are expected to cast their votes in Gauteng as they head to the ballots in the by-elections on Wednesday. The elections are being held in 14 wards in six municipalities in Gauteng.
— IEC South Africa (@IECSouthAfrica) November 10, 2020
INFOGRAPHICS: SA municipal ward by-elections facts:
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