Registered South African voters are expected to exercise their democratic right on Monday, 1st November 2021, during the municipal elections. As a result, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the day a national public holiday as per Section 2A of the Public Holidays Act of 1994. So, what is the purpose of the 1 November public holiday? Here is everything you need to know.
The 11th October presidency announcement brings the total number of public holidays in South Africa in 2021 to 13. Since 21st March Human Rights Day and 26th December Day of Goodwill fall on a Sunday, the following Monday is the public holiday as per the Public Holidays Act, Act No 36 of 1994.
1 November public holiday in South Africa
The extra public holiday was set to ensure that all registered citizens turn out in large numbers to vote in the upcoming municipal elections. Employers are expected to let their employees participate in choosing new leadership. Since the election day falls on a Monday, even busy employees have the long weekend to travel to the polling stations in which they are registered as voters.
Local government elections in South Africa are important because the leaders chosen are the ones who will influence the provision of the essential services in a particular voter’s area. To have the right councils in those positions, registered citizens must exercise their civic duty and vote.
The municipal elections were initially supposed to take place on 27th October 2021 but had to be postponed due to the effects of Covid-19. There is a total of 323 political parties contesting for the district, metropolitan and municipal councils across the nine provinces in the country. The civic practice is done every five years, and this will mark the sixth time South Africans head to the ballot since the end of apartheid in 1994.
All registered South African voters have no excuse but to exercise their constitutional right by voting on 1 November 2021 since it will be a day off for everyone. All polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Remember, each vote counts!
Briefly.co.za recently published an article regarding the ANC’s election promises as the 2021 local government elections approach. The ruling party promised to create 150 thousand new jobs in Johannesburg if they are elected to office.
The declaration was made by Dada Morero, the ANC’s regional secretary, who said that opportunities will be created through initiatives like Jozi@Work. However, many netizens dismissed the promise as mere campaign propaganda.