Durban - The Independent Electoral Commission(IEC) in KwaZulu-Natal says voting in the by-elections set for this week will continue, regardless of the declaration of a state of disaster in the country because of heavy rain and the destruction it has caused.
On Wednesday, KZN is set to host eagerly awaited by-elections in Newcastle in north west KZN and Mtubatuba in the far north of the province, where the African National Congress(ANC) and Inkatha Freedom Party(IFP) are set to contest for the control of the councils.
Parts of Newcastle have been flooded following heavy rains that have been experienced in many parts of KZN and South Africa, and this raised questions about whether the elections would take place.
KZN IEC spokesperson Thabani Ngwira insisted that voting would go ahead in the two municipalities.
“Nothing has been communicated to us to indicate that voting is postponed or cancelled, so as far as we are concerned, voting continues,” said Ngwira on Tuesday morning.
While noting the declaration of the state of disaster by the government on Monday, he indicated that the IEC would seek further help from other quarters, including the army.
“What has happened in the past is that when there are areas that could not be accessed, the IEC would seek assistance from the army because they have vehicles and other modes of transport that enable for such, so if there is a need for such help, we will ask for it.
“But from where we are, voting will go ahead,” said Ngwira.
While main voting will take place on Wednesday, 15 February, Tuesday is a special voting day, and Ngwira said they would use it to determine whether there are any difficulties.