President Jacob Zuma has declared Wednesday August 3 a public holiday – the date scheduled for 2016 municipal elections.
Presidency spokesperson, Bongani Ngqulunga stated that the public holiday would enable all those eligible to cast their votes in the local government elections that day.
Ngqulunga said in a statement:
“Voting is a fundamental right enshrined in our Constitution. It is important that citizens are granted an opportunity to exercise this right freely. This is particularly so when they elect this sphere of government that is closest to them.”
It is pertinent to note that the 2016 municipal elections will mark 16 years of democratic local government in South Africa.
In April, the South African Independent Electoral Commission welcomed the election date. The electoral body disclosed that the date is well-timed because it falls within the constitutionally-mandated window to host polls.
Meanwhile, both the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have expressed readiness for the local government elections.
Speaking weeks ago, the ANC’s Zizi Kodwa said, “We are quite excited as the ANC and we have no reason to doubt that we will win overwhelmingly in these upcoming local government elections.”
The DA’s James Selfe stated thus: “We are already, willing and able to fight the elections. We think it’s going to be a really significant poll.”
However, in as much as many people have predicted a tough election ahead, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said the forthcoming election would be the toughest, considering the fact that it would be the only party ‘suitable’ to battle the ruling party.
The left-wing party leader, Julius Malema made this known at EFF’s national list conference for local government election candidates in Midrand in May.
Malema added that unless the electoral body defies electoral laws by rigging the elections, his party will definitely hit the ANC off the warring ring.
Meanwhile, ahead of August 3 municipal election, the ANC has been charged to address pressing issues damaging the prestige of the party. This candid advice followed violent protests by aggrieved members of the party across most of its branches in the country.