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The right to vote is a right that underpins South Africa’s democracy. The right to vote is also linked to the realisation and protection of other rights, including the right to dignity.

The Constitution requires that an election be held within 90 days of the end of the term of office for local government. Since the last local government elections were held on 3 August 2016, an election must be held by 1 November 2021 to comply with the requirement for new elections within 90 days after expiry of the current term.

As elections will take place, it does not mean that the City will stop functioning because the purpose of the election is to elect the new political leadership.

What happens to political and administrative structure during elections?

In terms of political leadership structure of a local government, the executive mayor is the head of the Executive, whilst the city manager is the accounting officer heading the administration arm of a local government institution. The city manager, as the head of administration and the accounting officer of the municipality has a major role to play before, during and after the local government elections.

When the term of office for a Council comes to an end, councillors remain in office until the results of the elections have been declared by the IEC, and structures of the council must therefore still meet and proceed to consider matters delegated to it as far as possible.

The city manager should ensure that the administration attends to all daily tasks required. Political structures remain in place until just before the election and, where required, the necessary reports must still be submitted to Council structures in order for the municipality to fulfil its mandate of service delivery.