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The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has approached the Electoral Court to postpone by-elections scheduled for January and Febuary due to the COVID-19, said the IEC on Monday.

“The Electoral Commission noted that even though many of the preparations for the by-elections have been concluded, and protocols are in place for the safe conducting of elections as piloted in November and December, the regulations prohibiting political activities will seriously hamper campaigning by candidates and political parties,” said IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela.

The court application sought to extend the 90-day period within which by-elections of councillor vacancies must take place in six provinces, 10 municipalities and 14 wards. She said by-elections scheduled for March 3 currently remain on track.

However, the IEC will watch the developments on the regulations and could approach the courts to postpone it if the situation demands.

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