More parties are contesting the local government elections than ever before at a record-breaking 200

In preparation for the August 3 elections, the IEC looks set to print 80-million ballot papers in total. (David Harrison, M&G)

In preparation for the August 3 elections, the IEC looks set to print 80-million ballot papers in total. (David Harrison, M&G)

The number of parties planning to contest the local government elections this year has shot up by two-thirds, compared to five years ago.

A record 200 parties, 65% more than in 2011, will contest the August 3 elections. A total of 61 014 candidates, up by 12%, were expected to contest the polls, Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya told reporters on Wednesday.

He was speaking following the publication of the IEC’s finalised candidate lists. He said 8 350 candidates were disqualified, most of them for non-submission of documentation or non-payment of their deposit. About 15% were not registered voters in the wards they wanted to contest.

Moepya, however, said the IEC could still admit the National Freedom Party if its court challenge to be admitted was successful. The NFP was disqualified from participating in the elections because it failed to pay its deposit on time.

A total of 73 payments were received with the wrong deposit reference. Once those had been verified, those candidates would be allowed to participate.

Moepya said there were a total of 4 649 unique ballot papers, which included ballots for wards, proportional representation, metro councils, and district councils.

The IEC would print 80-million ballot papers in total. – News24

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