The Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Commission
(ECCOC) - a body made up of religious and civil society leaders - will once
again play a key role in making sure that next week's local government
elections are free and fair.
ECCOC works in conjunction with the Independent
Electoral Commission and it aims to help create and maintain conditions in
which elections run smoothly.
One of its tasks is to ensure that political parties
and their leaders understand that they should not incite violence and
instability at a time when tensions could be running high.
'Political leaders should not be irresponsible and
part of ECCOC's role is to ensure that they behave in a responsible manner on
election day. We want to be the first port of call if anyone feels
uncomfortable about anything related to the elections', said
chairperson, Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.
ECCOC's 15 members are drawn from various faith
communities, with a few from civil society.
ECCOC operates mainly in the Cape metropolitan area
and, on election day, sends observers to voting stations around the broader
Cape Peninsula. They monitor whether presiding officers are doing their jobs
properly and whether elections are conducted in an efficient manner.
ECCOC as an organisation attempts to be impartial as
far as party politics is concerned and its members are present at polling
stations as objective observers.
'We help to defuse tense situations if there are any.
We hope that political parties and the electorate see our presence as helping
to ensure that there is a moral presence on election day,' said Archbishop