Elections amid COVID-19 possible, says DA rejecting call to postpone local polls

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) has rejected the Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) proposal that the local government elections be rescheduled to coincide with the general elections in 2024.

The EFF is lobbying political parties to accept its proposal and approach the Electoral Commission to facilitate such a discussion.  

The EFF has cited, what it says is, the inability of political parties to campaign effectively in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic as its reason for the call.

DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone says they will not support the EFF’s proposal 

Our constitution is clear, what makes us a constitutional democracy is regular elections. The people of South Africa have the right to have their voices heard. We have seen countries across the world show that it is possible to hold mass elections while social distancing and maintaining safety. There is no reason why the local government elections cannot proceed in October 2021,” says Mazonne.  

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Al Jamah-ah party are among organisations who are sympathetic to the EFF’s call, while ActionSA and the Freedom Front Plus are on the side of those who are opposed to it.

In the video below, SABC News Reporter Abongile Dumako reports on EFF’s proposal to postpone elections:  

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has said it is willing to meet with political parties and hear their views on the matter. However, it says, its decision will be guided by constitutional principles.