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IEC Seeks Postponement Of By-Elections Due To Covid-19

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is approaching the Electoral Court on Tuesday morning to seek a postponement of by-elections across the country.

The body is among many institutions in the country, which have had to alter its plans due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The IEC said it was concerned about a potential low voter turnout should it continue with the by-elections in light of concerns about the outbreak among residents.

IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo said: “The intention is to ask the court for a postponement beyond the 19-day period… In the circumstances of the current national disaster, a 19-day period would not suffice.”

The Electoral Act dictates that the body applies to the court for permission to postpone voting.

Should the court grant the request, by-elections in various wards including in Emfuleni and the City of Johannesburg scheduled from this month until the end of April will be affected.

The commission said it was concerned about the spread of the virus given the close physical contact between its officials and members of the public during the voting process.