FS sees significant rise in independent candidates

───   OLEBOGENG MOTSE 11:40 Thu, 07 Oct 2021

FS sees significant rise in independent candidates | News Article

The Free State province, like its Northern Cape counterpart, has seen a significant rise in the number of independent candidates contesting this year’s local government elections.

The spokesperson for the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) in the province, Mathabo Rasengane, tells OFM News that they have 134 registered independent candidates for the 2021 local government elections as compared to 81 in 2016. This comes down to an increase of 53 candidates. OFM News reported recently that the number of independent candidates in the Northern Cape for the 1 November elections has doubled to 72, from 34 in 2016. 

IEC spokesperson in the Northern Cape, Elken Topken, tells OFM News that they are thrilled to see that many more independent candidates are contesting.

In September the IEC announced the fees for contestation in the 2021 local government elections remain unchanged from those for the 2016 municipal elections. Party-affiliated candidates contesting the elections in a metropolitan, local, and district municipality, are meant to cough up R3500, R2000, and R1000 respectively. Independent candidates and party-affiliated candidates not contesting proportional representation (PR) election, are paying R1000. 

Political parties contesting all elections across the country must pay a deposit of R482 000 for a total of 4 725 elections and ballot papers. The IEC says these figures, whilst appearing to be significant, do in fact reflect a substantial decrease in the deposit amounts since the 2011 municipal elections. The IEC has announced that it will be introducing new voting management devices for these municipal elections. They have also vowed to ensure that all Covid-19 related protocols will be adhered to, come the election period. 

The elections take place on 1 November, whereas special voting commences on 30 October, wrapping up on the 31st.

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