Voters can be particularly anxious on voting day as they eagerly await the results to determine who will be leading their municipality and ward. In hotly contested municipalities and wards, this can also be the difference between five years of good service delivery and five years of infighting and poor service delivery.
For that reason, you may want to know how to check the 2021 South African Municipal election results. There are many reputable options to find the election results which you can review below.
How Long After Voting Are The Results Available?
During the national elections, you can get live details on the voting tally as the SABC and ENCA usually hold frequent – or in some cases, 24 hour – broadcasts of the results. Showing how well each political party is doing and how many seats they’ll receive at the national government level.
Doing it this way for municipal elections would be very difficult as South Africa has 278 municipalities and 4468 wards as of 2021.
Therefore, the IEC releases the official results for municipal elections on its website; these results can be available on election day, but can take a few business days to verify.
Accessing Municipal Election Results Online
On voting day, you can access real-time information about voter turnout, disruptions, and in many cases, the local government election results. These results may not be final as parties and voters have two business days to submit objections. But, these live results can give you an indication of who is winning.
On the day of the municipal elections, you can access the municipal election results on the IECs website and social media. The IEC will also publish a comprehensive election report on its website in the days after the election.
If you’re interested in knowing how each political party contesting the local government election performs in your municipality, the best resource is the IECs app.
From the voter app, you can check your details, capture and share voting moments, and most importantly, view news and information from the municipal election as it happens.
To download on Google Play, click here.
To download on the App Store, click here.
Besides the IECs website, you can track the voting results on the various news websites covering the local government election. On election day, you can choose one website to receive information, or you can bookmark several news websites.
If accessing news websites is too much of a hassle, you can also follow news websites, local politicians, or journalists on social media. Social media – like Twitter and Facebook – will provide up-to-the-minute data on voting results, and if you follow reputable sources, you can be sure the information being relayed is accurate.
If you don’t want to be scouring the internet for news on the municipal elections, you can also create Google Alerts to be up-to-date with election news and results.
To do this, go to Google Alerts and insert the keyword you want to follow. In this case, it will be “election” or “municipal election”. You can then filter the results based on how often you want alerts and the sources you want to be included in your alerts. Be sure you’ve only filtered alerts from South Africa.
Google will show you a preview of the alert. If you’re happy with it, you can select “Create Alert”.
Accessing Municipal Election Results Offline
The IEC shares its information with local news agencies so they’re informed and can share that information with voters. Because of this, voters have many options to access municipal election results offline. But, given that most of these portals won’t be updated in real-time, if you choose one of these methods, you will likely have to wait a day or two after the votes are tallied to know the results.
Local radio stations are an excellent resource for receiving up-to-the hour information on the municipal election results. Most radio stations read the news every hour on the hour, so if you want to know how election day is going, you can tune in to your local radio station on the hour for the most recent updates.
You have three options to receive your municipal election results if you plan on doing so through a newspaper. You can purchase a copy of a national or local newspaper a day or two after election day, or you can pick up a free copy of your community newspaper.
National and Local Newspapers
National newspapers – like the Sunday Times and City Press – are likely to include write-ups about who won major municipalities.
And local newspapers – like the Cape Times and Pretoria News – will go into more detail about local municipalities and wards.
These results are released in subsequent publications. In the case of daily papers, that could be a day or two later, and in the case of weekly newspapers, in that week’s publication.
You can also access the municipal election results for free by picking up a copy of your community newspaper. Community newspapers are usually printed and delivered to a local library, police station, shop, or directly to your doorstep once a week. And since the local government elections directly impact your community, you can expect a detailed report on who your ward councillor is, what election turnout was like in the community, and any remarks from political parties contesting local government elections.
Similarly to national and local newspapers, the election results will be printed in the publication after the elections take place.
SABC and ENCA News
You can also expect the SABC and ENCA to have significant coverage on the results from major metros like Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Ekurhuleni. They may also mention results from hotly contested municipalities like Nelson Mandela Bay, where coalition governments were formed after there was no outright majority in previous local elections.
It may seem like an obscure way to check the results, but the IEC does enable voters to check who their ward councillor is via SMS. Each SMS costs R1, and you’ll be required to enter your ID number in the body of the SMS before sending it to 32245. However, this should only be an option if you want to know who is leading your ward.
Knowing the municipal election results is par for the course in being a responsible voter. It can also be exciting to follow on the day or the days after the election.
Regardless, knowing the municipal election results will also give you insight into how you can expect your local politicians to manage the next five years.