Nominations for ward committee polls now open
The process to nominate candidates for the forthcoming ward committee elections in all the City of Johannesburg's 135 wards has begun. The nominations opened on Tuesday November 1 and will close on Friday November 25.
The ward committee elections will take place on three consecutive Saturdays early next year – from January 28 to February 11.
In regions A and E, the elections will be held on January 28. Residents in regions B, C and F will go to the polls on February 4, whereas those in regions D and G will be able to cast their ballots on February 11. The elections will be conducted by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
Nomination forms are distributed at all civic education engagement sessions currently being held throughout the city. The forms are also available on request from all the City's seven regional offices and from the Metro Centre in Braamfontein. They are also available online.
After the closing of nominations on Friday November 25, all the names of the nominees for all the portfolios will be displayed for viewing at the regional offices. Voters will have the opportunity to lodge objections between November 28 and November 30. Disqualified nominees or nominees whose names do not appear on the displayed lists can also appeal to the steering committee during this period.
Established in terms of the Local Government Act of 1998, ward committees play a critical role in municipal affairs in that they assist democratically elected public representatives in all the wards to carry out their mandate.
Although ward committees have no legal persona, they serve as advisory committees in support of ward councillors. Their main objective is to enhance the participation of the public in municipal affairs. Under the leadership of ward councillors, they facilitate meaningful participation in council affairs and in the resolution of residents' problems, over and above other stakeholder engagements.
"We would like to encourage all residents to become active citizens by participating in all types of community structures. Ward committees are there to encourage residents to participate actively in affairs of local governance and ensure that their issues are brought to the attention of the local municipality," said Patrick Nhlapo, Deputy Director of Community Participation Unit, in the Office of the Speaker. "They are also a very important support structure for the local councillor and ensure that through their monthly reports the councillor is kept abreast of all the concerns and complaints of the residents of the local ward."