Voting stations across the country opened at 8 am to allow first time voters to register and others to check their details for the municipal elections.

The elections come as the government of President Jacob Zuma “is moving from one crisis to the next,” Tawana Kupe, dean of the Humanitie Departmernt at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, told Xinhua.

He was referring to a law suit by opposition parties against Zuma over corruption charges in relation to the abuse of public funding to revamp his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal Province.

The local government elections would see political parties fighting for control of the country’s metropolitans. Opposition political parties, particularly the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), have vowed to take over Johannesburg, Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Bay municipality from the ANC.

The elections will be held between 18 May and 16 August 2016 for all districts and local municipalities in all nine existing provinces. Municipal elections are held every five years.

Voters will elect the members of the district, metropolitan and local municipal councils, who, in turn, will elect the mayors of the municipalities to office.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has revealed that at least nine million South Africans eligible to vote are not registered.

The elections will be held at a time when the country experiences a severe drought and sluggish economic growth.

The IEC said it has trained thousands of officials to operate the stations to ensure that people be registered. They expected that at least one million people would register this weekend.

Both the ANC and DA have launched campaigns to urge voters to vote. The two parties said their leaders would be conducting door-to-door visits to seek support. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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