‘Super-Wednesday’ by-elections: all the data and who is contesting what

Although dubbed as “super-Wednesday”, today’s by-elections have had a poor start. 

Voter turnout has been low in areas such as Evaton in the Vaal district and the surrounding areas.

The elections are taking place in 95 wards across 55 municipalities in all of South Africa’s provinces. Voting is taking place in 455 centres, including schools, churches, community halls and creches. 

Overall, there are more than 610 000 registered voters. But if previous elections and by-election turnout are anything to go by, the actual number of voters could be much lower than 40 %.

By-elections take place in a ward within a municipality. They happen in between general municipal local elections, which take place every five years. 

According to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) website, by-elections should take place within 90 days after a municipal ward council seat becomes vacant due to death, expulsion or resignation of a ward councillor. But because of Covid-19, by-elections could not be held within the stipulated 90 days. 

These elections are the first to be held since March because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown. Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo says that the by-elections being held today are a “catch-up” of all by-elections postponed between March and September. Elections could not take place because of the hard lockdown implemented to protect people’s lives. 

The leading cause for the by-elections is death. There are 47 wards in which a councillor has died; five councillors have been expelled by an MEC; and councillors resigned in 23 wards. 

A glimpse at each province shows that the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape each have more than 10 wards taking part in the election; the Free State and Limpopo have only four each.

The ANC, which has been rocked by secretary general Ace Magashule’s warrant of arrest this week, has the highest number of wards it wants to retain. The Democratic Alliance has 29 wards it currently holds — until midday on Thursday, when the IEC is expected to release the results. 

The Inkatha Freedom Party has four wards; the National Freedom Party and United Front of Civics have one each.

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Tshegofatso Mathe
Tshegofatso Mathe
Tshegofatso Mathe is a financial trainee journalist at the Mail & Guardian.
M&G Data Desk
The Data Desk is the centre for data journalism at Mail & Guardian

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Africa’s first green school ‘cultivates a love of nature’

The Paarl campus of Green School South Africa uses solar power and climate-smart water management systems.

Sisulu accuses presidency of ‘deliberate mischief’

The minister’s open defiance has raised the stakes in a standoff that points to the looming power struggle President Cyril Ramaphosa faces

South Africa gets R11-bn booster shot from the World Bank...

As the country battles the pandemic, the World Bank loan will assist to boost the economy

Zondo says in Dutton’s death, South Africa lost one of...

The senior state capture investigator and member of the Investigating Directorate died a fortnight after Zondo released the first part of his state capture report
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×