It is all systems go to a free and fair by-elections in Metsimaholo Local Municipality, Free State Province. This was a confirmation given to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Mr Des van Rooyen by the various stakeholders he met in Metsimaholo today (28 November 2017).
As the Chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Local Government Elections, Minister van Rooyen had to play a balancing act amid a number of other equally important engagements, including the portfolio committee meeting that took place in Cape Town. “Looking at the challenges that previously battered this Municipality, it is in our interest to provide all the necessary support to ensure free and fair elections”, said Minister.
Minister van Rooyen prioritised the visit to Metsimaholo where he assessed and saw first hand the preparedness ahead of the by-elections. Minister emphasized that we all have a responsibility to build a strong, effective and efficient functioning municipalities, hence the importance this by-elections.
From all the briefings, engagements and visiting various voting stations, Minister noted the level of preparedness and he expressed appreciation for the good work done by all the teams working and urged them to continue working tirelessly to deliver incident free and fair elections.
The succesful by-election in Metsimaholo, will surely contribute to strengthening our maturing democracy and today saw 6000 voters who registered for special votes making their mark ahead of the normal election day tomorrow (29 November 2017). With 15 political parties contesting elections in Metsimaholo, Minister van Rooyen called on all the 82000 registered voters to come out in their numbers tomorrow to make their mark and choose the representatives of their choice.
“This could be done by voting tomorrow throughout the 21 wards and 59 voting districts”, added Minister. He said that he was confident the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) would once again stage a successful local government election, based on reports that the first day of special voting went well.
Speaking during a visit to the polling stations, Minister van Rooyen called on all political parties, communities and other Stakeholders to exercise patience and promote peaceful conditions suitable for a free and fair by-elections.
“Once more, we call out to all eligible registered voters to cast their ballots, thus deciding their future by having a direct say on who runs their ward and municipality” concluded Minister.
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