Inkatha Freedom Party leader Velenkosini Hlabisa says while his party is ready to go the elections, he believes it is better to err on the side of caution and hold the elections in May next year.

He was addressing the Moseneke Inquiry into the feasibility of holding the local government elections during the pandemic.

The elections are scheduled for October 27. Hlabisa says for parties like his, whose core constituency is the disadvantaged and rural, it will be difficult and costly to hold online meetings and gatherings for the purposes of candidate selection.

He says efforts to reach the electorate to campaign will also be severely constrained during the pandemic.

“The reality is that for us to reach our electorate we will be using party leaders and candidates and volunteers these party volunteers are mostly young people who will be moving from one place to another to get the message to the electorate given the limitations that the state of disaster places on these actions in the various lockdown levels we will not be able to freely and fairly campaign.”
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Holomisa has told the Moseneke Inquiry that political parties under the current national disaster regulations will be constrained in campaigning and these activities are conducive to spreading the coronavirus.

Holomisa says that the implications of how many people turn up for the October 27 poll must be considered.

“We must consider the possible impact on the result and democracy if the turnout is low and what it would mean for free and elections the conundrum however is this if voter turnout is good election day may turn out to be the mother of super spreader events especially in the voters for the UDM this is the single most worrying factor,” he says.
The Patriotic Alliance and Al Jama-ah have called for the elections to proceed in October as planned.

Live proceedings in the video below: