PRETORIA, South Africa
South Africa said Thursday it is has put in place measures to ensure free and fair elections to be held next week.
“With less than one week to our elections day, the Commission is pleased to report that everything is in place, ready for South Africa’s 6th national and provincial elections,” Deputy chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission Janet Love told reporters in the capital.
“On Monday morning, election materials will be transported from local warehouses to voting stations, ready for the first special votes to be cast from nine in the morning to 5 p.m. on the 6 and 7 of May” Love said.
She said a record 48 political parties will compete for seats in the national parliament and provincial assemblies.
The commission also announced that 26 million people registered to vote, representing 1.3 million more who registered in the 2014 polls.
She said 77,494 voters have been granted permission to cast special votes beginning May 6.
South Africa grants special votes to citizens who cannot vote on the election day due to sickness, old age or work commitments.
The county’s Police Minister Bheki Cele assured the nation at a separate briefing that authorities would ensure the security of voters and voting material amid threats of violence by certain groups.
He said police identified some violence hot spots and deployed officers to deal with any disruptions to the polls.
Although 48 political parties will be vying in this month’s elections, the contest will mainly be between the three major political parties: the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Some of the main issues highlighted in the election campaign include, job creation, expropriation of land without compensation from mainly white owners to be re-distributed among landless blanks. The improvement of education and the health sector were also widely highlighted in the campaigns.
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