More than 12,400 candidates to contest local polls in the W Cape, the highest number yet

South Africans go to the polls on November 1 to vote in local elections. File photo.
South Africans go to the polls on November 1 to vote in local elections. File photo.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

The 2021 local government elections may be the biggest yet in the Western Cape with more parties and individuals vying for seats in municipalities across the province.

The IEC revealed on Monday that more than 12,400 candidates will contest the local government elections in the province, 5,000 more than in 2016.

Monday marked exactly two weeks before South Africans cast their votes to elect new councils in the country’s fifth democratic local government elections. It seems in the Western Cape this will be the biggest local contest in recent history.

“This is a significant increase in contestation, in relation to the 7,263 for local government elections in 2016,” said Michael Hendrickse, the provincial electoral officer.

“The contestation for 844 seats across 30 municipalities consisting of one metro, 24 local and five district municipalities, is gaining momentum” said Hendrickse.

He added that 904 of the candidates are people under the age of 30.

An IEC info graphic showed that a whopping 96 political parties will contest the elections in the province, up from 77 in 2016. There were 62 in 2011.

The IEC said 53 of those parties will contest seats in Cape Town, the only metro in the province currently led by the DA. There were 37 parties that contested the metro in 2016 and 33 in 2011.

Eighty-five independent candidates will contest the municipal elections in the province, up from 59 in 2016 and 70 in 2011.

Of the 85 independents, 41 will contests seats in the metro, up from 12 in 2016 and 14 in 2011.

Western Cape local government elections in numbers:

  • More than 12,400 candidates
  • 844 seats
  • 30 municipalities
  • 904 candidates under the age of 30
  • 85 independent candidates
  • 53 political parties