South Africans will be going to the polls on 3 August 2016 for the fourth local government elections since democracy. The Dullah Omar Institute recently published a manual, Electing Councillors: A Guide to Municipal Elections that, according to the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, "provides us with further insight into the electoral process and will ensure that the various role-players are suitably informed of the rules and regulations governing them". Minister Van Rooyen also states in the foreword that he hoped in particular that citizens, the media, political parties and their candidates take note of these legal prescripts.
In the section termed "What do we vote for", the manual focuses on the municipal categories, councillor representation and ballots. It is interesting to note that:
- South Africa is divided into 3 categories of municipalities: Metropolitan (8), District (44) and Local (205)
- Local and metropolitan councils consist of 50% PR councillors (proportionally representing political parties) and 50% ward councillors (independent or nominated by a political party)
- The number of votes you cast (that is, the number of ballot papers you receive before entering the voting booth) depends on where you live
- If you live in one of the 8 metros you will be casting 2 votes (1 vote to elect a ward councillor and 1 vote to elect a party)
- Those voting in a local municipality will receive 3 ballots (1 vote to elect a ward councillor, 1 vote to elect a party and 1 vote to elect a party to the district council)
See infograhic below for more on the 2016 Municipal Elections: