Pretoria – The Electoral Commission (IEC) has welcomed the proclamation of the 2016 Local Government Elections by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister David Van Rooyen.
Minister Van Rooyen proclaimed the elections on Monday. The commission on Tuesday said the proclamation triggers the official election timetable, which it published on Tuesday in a special Government Gazette.
“The timetable spans the next 72 days and lays down the key dates and deadlines for various milestones until Election Day on 3 August 2016.
“The first action of the proclamation is to close the voters’ roll for the election. This means no new applicants may be admitted to the voters’ roll, including additional registrations or re-registrations,” said the Commission.
The certification of the voters’ roll for the 2016 Municipal Elections will take place on 31 May.
The commission said the proclamation also triggers the opening of candidate nominations for the elections.
“Political parties have until 17H00 on Thursday, 2 June to submit their list of nominations for ward candidates, proportional representation candidates and district council candidates.
“Nominations for independent candidates to contest ward elections must also be submitted by 17H00 on 2 June,” said the commission.
Online Candidate Nomination System
The Commission has launched an Online Candidate Nomination System, the first of its kind in Africa, through which candidate nominations can be submitted electronically for the 2016 Municipal Elections.
A link to the system is available on the homepage of the Electoral Commission’s website at www.elections.org.za under ‘2016 Municipal Elections’.
The system is designed to speed up and simplify the process of submitting candidate nomination lists for elections by allowing parties to capture their own information and then submit it electronically via the internet by the deadline.
The system has key benefits such as enabling parties to capture their own information, thus reducing the margin for errors. It shows real-time verification of the eligibility of candidates and electronically generates the acceptance of nomination forms, eliminating the need to manually complete forms for each candidate. It has access to a payment gateway to make paying easy.
The system also exports and imports spreadsheets for each municipality to allow for copy and paste of candidate data that may be in existing political party databases. It shows progress reports for all elections contested by a party, and gives instant confirmation of the list of candidates and wards contested.
“As part of the necessary security of the system, it provides for a political party or nominee for an independent candidate to appoint an administrator who will be provided with rights to work on the system.
“This administrator can then delegate and assign capturing and browsing rights to others. While the system is primarily designed for political parties with large numbers of candidates, it is also available for use by independent candidates,” said the commission.
Contesting the elections
In order to stand for election as an independent candidate in a ward, nominees must be registered voters in the municipality in which they are contesting.
Nominees must then submit a completed nomination form including the signatures of 50 registered voters in the ward they are contesting, a copy of their identity document, an A5 colour head and shoulders photograph for the ballot paper and proof of payment of the election deposit of R1 000.
The commission said there are proposed deposits payable for contesting the 2016 Municipal Elections.
The proposed deposit for metropolitan councils is R3 500; R2000 for local municipal councils; R1 000 for district councils and R1 000 for individual ward candidates.
The total cost for a political party to contest all municipal councils is R482 000. This includes R28 000 for eight metros (each metro costs R3 500); R410 000 for 205 local councils at R2 000, and R44 000 for 44 district councils at R1 000 each.
Deposits are refunded where at least one candidate is elected to the council. Should political parties or independent candidates opt to submit nominations manually, they may still do so at the local IEC office for the municipality they are contesting during the window period for submissions.
Payments for manual submissions must be by bank guaranteed cheque.
A total of 53 757 candidates contested the previous Municipal Elections in 2011, including 754 independent candidates.
A copy of the full election timetable is available on www.elections.org.za.