Everything you need to know about the coming Municipal Elections: Municipal Elections will take place on 1 November 2021. Find out why local government matters, how to register for the elections, and why it’s so important that you do vote – even during a pandemic!
What are we voting for?
Municipal elections – also known as local government elections – are held in South Africa every five years to elect councilors who will govern a municipality for five years.
You may be wondering what electing municipal councils and councillors have to do with you, but in fact they touch your daily life in every way. Municipal councils and councilors ensure that every city, town, township and rural area have the necessary services for their citizens, including water, electricity, health/clinics, emergency response, roads, and waste removal.
Where you live will determine what type of municipality you have. Local government in South Africa is made up of three types of municipalities, namely:
As municipalities have wall-to-wall coverage of the country, every geographic area of the country falls within a municipality, all of which are run by councillors.
Why should you vote?
There are a few very important reasons why you should vote:
Who can vote?
All South African citizens aged 18 years or older who are registered on the national common voters’ roll are eligible to vote in elections. You can only vote once (per ballot paper) and only in the voting district in which you are registered.
You must register where you live most of the time. When you register in the area where you live, your name will appear on the voters’ roll for that voting district. There are 23 151 voting districts for this year’s elections.
How to register?
Currently South Africa’s voters’ roll has 25,66 million registered voters. Based on population estimates from Statistics South Africa, about 15 million South Africans who are eligible to vote are not registered. Of these, about 60% are under the age of 30!
This is not necessarily a reflection of so-called ‘voter apathy’ by young people. Young voters have simply had fewer opportunities to register than older voters – with millions only qualifying for registration over the past two years since the 2019 general elections.
If you’re a first-time voter, there are two easy ways to register:
All you need to register is your South African ID – either a smart ID card, green ID book or a valid temporary ID. You will also need your address details (but you don’t need proof of address).
Have more questions? Contact the IEC
@IECSouthAfrica on Facebook or Twitter
IEC helpline 0800 11 8000
WhatsApp ‘Hi’ to 060 088 0000
Join the conversation: #EveryVoiceTogether #VoteSafe