The Economic Freedom Fighters are calling for the reopening of political space in the country.

The party says as the country appears to go ahead with plans for upcoming local government elections, it will be undemocratic and irrational to disallow political programmes and activities to take place.

While certain gatherings are permitted under specific conditions, others including political gatherings are still prohibited under the COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

The EFF says the party needs to engage in programmes and activities that will hold government accountable.

It says it will write to President Cyril Ramaphosa to demand the immediate reopening of the political space to engage in the necessary political programmes and activities to challenge the status quo.

Refusal to do so, says the party, will necessitate approaching the courts to challenge the Constitutionality of the regulation, while many people are gathering in workplaces, malls, restaurants and religious gatherings.

It adds that denying political parties to freely campaign for elections is unconstitutional and violates the essence of a democratic order.

The EFF says it is forging ahead with its bid to have the local government elections shelved and the country’s polls synchronised.

The party wants the 2021 polls postponed to 2024:

The governing ANC has previously supported the call for the shelving of the elections, while other parties, including the DA, ActionSA and COPE, have opposed the idea and said the polls should run within the current legal cut-off date as provided in the Constitution.

IEC on track

The Independent Electorate Commission (IEC) has said it is on track to hold the elections within the constitutional framework, saying the polls could be held between 3 August and 3 November this year.

The electoral body says it would take a collaborative effort and national consensus to make the constitutional changes necessary to synchronise them with the national and provincial elections. It said it was still consulting Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on the exact date.

According to the Constitution, the elections have to take place within 90 days of the expiry of the council’s terms of office. Meaning, there is currently no legal provision for the 2021 polls to be delayed beyond November.

IEC say local government elections will go ahead as planned: