Pretoria – Over 200 000 registered voters in 25 wards across the country’s nine provinces are expected go to the polls on Wednesday to elect municipal councillors.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Tuesday said tomorrow’s by-elections will be one of the largest mobilisations of voters outside of general elections.

The by-elections include a number of wards in metro councils in Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay and Mangaung.

The Electoral Commission manages an average of approximately 130 by-elections a year. By-elections are held when ward councillors vacate their seats for a variety of reasons including death, resignation or expulsion from the party or the council.

Contributing to the recent increase in by-elections has been the election of municipal councillors to provincial and national legislatures after the 7 May elections.

Of the 25 vacancies being contested tomorrow, 12 are as a result of candidates being elected to the national and provincial legislatures in May.

In the previous by-elections of 2 July, six of the 20 vacancies were also as a result of councillors being elected to the national and provincial legislatures.

Voting stations will be open from 7am to 9pm except in ward 11 in Port St Johns [Port St Johns] – EC154 where the voting hours are from 7am to 7pm.

A total of 214 861 voters are registered in the 124 voting districts where by-elections will be taking place.

Wednesday’s by-elections will be contested by 62 candidates, representing 12 political parties and four independent candidates. Three by-elections are uncontested.