Fast Facts

Special Votes were introduced for the first time in the 2011 local government elections.

Law provides for two types of special votes, namely those who cannot travel to the voting station due to physical infirmity, disability, pregnancy and those who can visit a voting station but cannot do so on election day.

A total of 741 721 applications for special votes were received, which was far more than the 293 693 applications received in 2011.

Of this number, 719 226 special vote applications were approved, 315 597 (43.8%) of which were home visits and 403 629 (56.1%) were approved voting station visits; Voting using a special vote was done over two days, on the 1st and 2nd August 2016.

Independents can only contest Ward seats in a local election while PR-designated seats are chosen by political parties.

Unlike parties, to contest a municipal election as an independent ward candidate, an individual must be nominated and then submit the required documents during the candidate nomination period.

There has been a steady increase in the number of independent candidates since the 2000 local government elections, despite a slight drop in 2006 – 672 in 2000; 663 in 2006; 754 in 2011; and 855 in 2016.

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INFOGRAPHIC | Local Government Elections in Numbers South Africans will vote in the 2021 Local Government Elections later this year amid the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Local Government Elections are held every five years in South Africa to renew councillors to serve on the local, metropolitan or district councils.  The last local elections were held in 2016.
A look at the 2016 Local Government Elections In Numbers ahead of the 2021 elections.