Residents of ward 42 in the east of Pretoria can register this weekend to vote in by-elections scheduled for August 3.
The seat became vacant after six-year serving councillor, former Tshwane MMC Phillip Nel died in April, only weeks before his 74th birthday.
Nel was hospitalised for months because of his health. He was first elected as a councillor in January 2016 by-elections when the DA’s Bronwynn Engelbrecht left the ward to become a parliament member.
Nel was re-elected in the 2021 local government elections.
The ward, which is in the east of Pretoria, includes areas such as Waterkloof and Waterkloof Ridge.
This week, the IEC announced that voter registration will be held on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 from 08:00 to 17:00.
The registration period allows first-time voters to register to vote and for existing voters to check and update their registration details ahead of the voting day.
“Voters should take their ID with them – either a green barcoded ID book, a smartcard ID or a valid temporary ID certificate. They will also need to complete their physical home address on registration or provide sufficient particulars of their place of residence,” the IEC said.
“Voters are reminded that it is a criminal offence to register and vote in a ward in which they are not ordinarily resident.”
Ward 42 has been a DA-dominated ward. The party won with 71.9% in the last government elections when it secured 12 538 votes out of 14 398 registered voters.
The Freedom Front Plus came second with 2 140 votes (12.2%) and the ANC third with 1 137 votes (6.5%).
Newly formed ActionSA managed to get 5.6% of the votes.
Low voter turnout has been a concern when it comes to by-elections.
Recently contested ward 96 by-elections, for example, had a low voter turnout of only 22.91%.
Previously, Gauteng provincial electoral officer Thabo Masemula said there has been a drop in voter participation in South African elections since 1994.
He said this was concerning for the commission.
“A vibrant democracy anywhere in the world depends on the electorate’s active and effective participation,” Masemola said.
Registration and voting for ward 42 will take place at:
– Laerskool Monumentpark
– Waterkloof Baptist Church
– Waterkloof Primary School
– Tent at Waterkloof Rand Park
– NG Kerk Waterkloof Ridge
– NG Kerk Monument Park-Wes
Eligible voters can get more info at the commission’s website at www.elections.org.za.
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