Home National KZN voters commended for participating in Local Government Elections

KZN voters commended for participating in Local Government Elections

by centra
[LIVE] KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala briefs the media on the latest situation in the province and efforts to rebuild the economy (24 July 2021)

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has commended voters in the province for their role in what can be described as peaceful, free and fair local government elections.

“We take this opportunity to thank the voters in KwaZulu-Natal who came out to vote to express this hard-earned democratic right. In particular, we convey our gratitude to all the communities of KwaZulu-Natal for displaying maturity and for allowing all political parties and independents to display their posters and to campaign freely,” Zikalala said.

Millions of eligible voters went to the polls on Monday in the country’s local government elections to choose councillors for the next five years.

This year’s election marks 21 years of local government in South Africa, and 28 years since the country was first ushered into the democratic era in 1994.

On behalf of Provincial Executive Council, Zikalala led an intensive media campaign encouraging voters to vote and to allow others space to campaign without hindrance or administration.

The Premier’s campaign was run, as numbers at the beginning of October 2021 indicated that, while there were 26 221 853 million registered voters in South Africa, 5 467 329 million of them were in KwaZulu-Natal.

Based on this count, the Electoral Commission (IEC) said that out of the country’s estimated 40 million eligible voters, an estimated 13 million were not going to vote because they had decided not to register.

Responding to voter turnout, Zikalala said the preliminary figures showed a significant drop in overall voter turn-out, with 52% of KwaZulu-Natal voters went to the polls this year, compared 61% during the 2016 Local Government Elections.

“This year’s figures point to a 10% decline, but it gives hope that with more intensive engagement of the voters, that decline can be halted.

“KwaZulu-Natal is one of only three provinces out of nine which together with the Western Cape and Northern Cape breached the 50% response of registered voters who made their mark yesterday,” Zikalala said.

Greater focus on young first time voters required

Moving forward, the Premier said it is clear that greater focus on young people who are first time voters will be required to remind them that they have a stake in the future of this country.

“As leaders it is our duty to help reverse this trend of non-voting and to encourage voters to exercise this right which is central to consolidating the democratic gains,” the Premier said.

Security Cluster commended for creating safe environment

Meanwhile, Zikalala commended the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) for maintaining a peaceful election.

He said that apart from reported isolated incidents, the provincial government is pleased that political parties engaged robustly, but with respect for each other in what has been a “mature contest for the soul of the voter.”      

“We also express our sincerest gratitude to the dedicated men and women of the SAPS and the entire Security Cluster who planned, executed and maintained a safe and secure environment for our elections.

“Through its preventative and responsive capacity, the Security Cluster created the necessary atmosphere in which the IEC could conduct its work and the voters could vote for parties and candidates of their choice,” Zikalala said.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)

Parties, candidates called to accept final results

He also called on KwaZulu-Natal people, including the parties and candidates to accept the final results as the product of a democratic, free and fair process.

“Once the results are finalised we will start setting up councils. We call on the people of KwaZulu-Natal to support these structures and for the next five years to work closely with all our elected representatives to support the delivery of basic services and to work for a better KwaZulu-Natal,” the Premier said.

He further paid tribute to the IEC for rolling out its world class election machinery to conduct an election that “we can all be proud of”.

“The IECs integrity remains uncontested as an independent election agency that is centred on our Constitutional values. The IEC continues to display its critical role in the maintenance of democracy and the building of one united South Africa,” Zikalala said.

As at 02:30pm, the IEC’s live results showed that KwaZulu-Natal was at 60% completion, with the African National Congress leading with 42.34 votes, followed by the Inkatha Freedom Party with 25.78% and Democratic Alliance’s 11.12%.

The IEC is expected to hold a media briefing this afternoon, to provide an update on the counting of results. – SAnews.


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