IFP wants a postponement of the upcoming Local Government Elections

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IFP National Spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa (Left) and founder and former IFP President, Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi (right). Picture Source: @Mkhuleko Hlengwa on Twitter.

Johannesburg – The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has joined calls for the postponement of the upcoming Local Government Elections which are expected to take place later this year.

Unlike other proposals such as that of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which suggests that all elections should be held in 2024, the IFP is calling for the upcoming local government elections to be held in May 2020.

“We believe this brief postponement will provide sufficient opportunity for all parties involved to make the necessary preparations.

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We do not, however, support the extended postponement and proposed amalgamation of the Local Government Elections (LGE), Provincial and the National Elections until 2024, as has been suggested by other parties”, said Member of Parliament and IFP National Spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

According to the organization, the reason for opposing the call for all elections to be held in the same year is because the roles and functions of these three spheres of government are vastly different, and it will also dilute campaigning for elections.

The organization says the shorter postponement which they propose until May 2022 will ensure that no amendment to the Constitution is required, rather just a resolution, in light of the unprecedented circumstances created due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Postponing until May 2022 will allow additional – safe – opportunities for campaigning, as well as for a more extensive Voter Registration drive. Currently, the IEC is proposing just one Voter Registration weekend.

We believe this is not sufficient, particularly in light of the large cohort of young people who need to register so as to make use of the opportunity to exercise their right to vote for the first time”, Hlengwa continued.

The rationality behind the call of the IFP is that by postponing the LGE until May 2022, there will also be a sufficient opportunity for South Africa to attain ‘herd immunity’ – where more than 60% of the population has been vaccinated.

According to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to South Africans before the Easter long weekend, the government would have vaccinated almost the targeted number of people by January 2022.

The IFP says postponing elections for the local government until May 2022 will allow additional – safe – opportunities for campaigning, as well as for a more extensive Voter Registration drive.

“Currently, the IEC is proposing just one Voter Registration weekend. We believe this is not sufficient, particularly in light of the large cohort of young people who need to register so as to make use of the opportunity to exercise their right to vote for the first time” – said Hlengwa.

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