The Independent Electoral Commission reminded political parties that their posters can only go up on street lamps when an election date is proclaimed. File picture.

This article has been updated after the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa cleared any confusion about the hanging of posters by political parties ahead of the elections this year. 

Cape Town - As political parties gear up for this year’s general elections, they are reminded that the placement of party posters are governed by municipal by-laws.

The IEC's chief communications officer Kate Bapela has cleared any confusion about when, where, or how many posters may be hung, and whether or not these rules are in fact governed by the electoral body itself.

"Poster hanging is governed in terms of municipal by-laws and there is nothing in the election legislation or regulations which prohibits the erection of election posters (although there are legislative provisions prohibiting the removing, defacing or plagiarizing of election posters)," Bapela told the Cape Argus.

"Ahead of each election, the Electoral Commission writes to SALGA requesting it to request municipalities to relax or suspend municipal by-laws to allow for the erection of election posters for general elections to promote campaigning and information to voters," she said.

"It is up to each municipality to determine its own advertising by-laws and any concessions granted to political parties.

"The Electoral Commission urges all political parties to comply with all applicable municipal by-laws when erecting posters including ensuring that they do not impede traffic safety or are erected unlawfully (e.g. on traffic signs, near intersections, pasted on walls etc)," Bapela said. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was willing to have the elections before May, when the current parliamentary term ends.
Parties may choose to register at national level, which will allow them to contest elections of the National Assembly, provincial legislatures and all municipal councils.

However, they may choose to register only at municipal level for a particular one or more municipalities, and will then only be allowed to contest municipal elections for those particular councils, as stated in their registration application. An application for registration must be fully completed.

The party’s name needs to be no more than 60 letters and when abbreviated no more than eight letters.

A copy of the party’s constitution must be included. A Deed of Foundation signed by 500 registered voters who support the founding of the party must be concluded.

Two sets of party logos or symbol in colour; a R500 registration fee; and a hard copy of the Government Gazette in which your Notice appears, must also be submitted to the IEC.

The chief electoral officer may prohibit registration if the proposed name, abbreviated name, distinguishing mark or symbol mentioned in the application resembles any other registered party. Or contains anything which portrays the propagation or incitement of violence or hatred or which may cause serious offence to any section of the population on the grounds of race, gender, sex, ethnic origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture or language.

A voter registration drive will be held on January 26 and 27. 

@TheCapeArgus

[email protected]

Cape Argus