Local Government Elections should go ahead as planned: Media Monitoring Africa

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Media Monitoring Africa says the Local Government Elections should go ahead as planned with strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols.

Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke continues hearing submissions at Centurion in Gauteng into whether free and fair Local Government Elections can be held under COVID-19.

The organisation made an oral presentation at the inquiry on Wednesday.

In his presentation, Media Monitoring Africa’s William Bird says journalists routinely risk their lives when they gather news, and if they take all the safety precautions, and are vaccinated during the drive targetting essential services workers, they will be able to do their job.

Bird says experts believe the virus will be around for a long time and therefore postponing the elections would not make any difference.

“We expect our workers to stand in queues at a taxi rank every day, they have to feed their families. This [voting] is also important. Put all the measures that we can reasonably put into place,” adds Bird.

Below is the live stream for today’s proceedings:

On Monday, Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) CEO Sy Mamabolo outlined four points of contestation amongst political parties on whether it is possible to hold free and fair elections on October 27.

Mamabolo says that parties disagree on whether the poll can be legitimate if traditional modes of campaigning are not possible.

He says they also disagree on the level to which the public is mobilized to register for fear of catching the coronavirus.

A third concern is low voter turnout at the polls which may compromise the legitimacy of the elections.

Mamabolo says the fourth issue pertains to political parties’ own preparations.

Below is the live stream for Monday’s proceedings: