As South Africa continues to battle rising Covid-19 infections, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has postponed voter registration weekend by two weeks.
This comes after the IEC announced the July 17 and 18 weekend as the last registration weekend ahead of elections, reports EWN. According to IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo, this is due to the Covid-19 third wave.
“The opinion from health experts who indicate that the whole of July is likely to be a period of high infection as well as the impact that the pandemic has had on the preparations for the general registration weekend,” stated Mamabolo.
The decision was not an easy one, but as the number of Covid infections continues to rise throughout the country, reviewing the current conditions and preparations for the registration weekend was necessary. Registration has now moved to July 31 and August 1.
“The decision was made following a review of the current conditions, including the rate of infections and hospitalisations over the past seven days, and its impact on preparations for the registration weekend,” said Mamabolo.
According to IOL, health experts have offered their submissions on the current Covid-19 wave and have stated that it may last until August. Following the submission, a number of political parties have been torn regarding an election postponement.
Former IEC commissioner Terry Tselane has suggested that elections be delayed until next year and was a strong proponent of postponing voter registration weekend.
“The Commission has taken this very difficult decision in the interests of saving lives of voters, election staff, party representatives and all citizens while still preserving the constitutional requirement to hold elections,” he said.
The election date is still under inquiry to determine whether the vote will be free and fair considering the pandemic. Former Chief of Justice Dikgang Moseneke is expected to give his final report by July 21.
Picture: Darren Stewart