The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) calls for the postponement of the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE) until May 2022. We believe this brief postponement will provide sufficient opportunity for all parties involved to make the necessary preparations.
We do not, however, support the extended postponement and proposed amalgamation of the LGE, Provincial and the National Elections until 2024, as has been suggested by other parties. The roles and functions of these three spheres of government are vastly different, and it will also dilute campaigning.
The shorter postponement – 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.
By postponing the LGE until May 2022, there will also be a much-needed opportunity for the people of South Africa to attain ‘herd immunity’ – where more than 60% of the population has been vaccinated. We believe that this milestone will not be possible by November 2021, as the current vaccination drive has been very slow, with barely 250 000 of our healthcare professionals vaccinated to date.
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.
Regardless of the final dates decided for the LGE, we would like to call on all the people of South Africa to continue to follow all the necessary Covid-19 precautions. Let us all make the necessary sacrifices for the greater good of our fellow South Africans.
Mkhuleko Hlengwa, MP
National Spokesperson, IFP
071 111 0539