Two hundred parties and 61,014 candidates will contest the 2016 South African local government elections on Aug 3, the Electoral Commission announced here Wednesday.

The compilation and certification of lists of wards candidates contesting the elections was finalised and certified on June 27, Electoral Commissioner Glen Mashinini told the media at Centurion, near here.

As part of the verification of compliance process, 8,350 candidates were disqualified because of non-submission of documentation, non-payment of deposit and not being registered voters in the municipality in which they wanted to contest.

However, Mashinini noted that the final numbers of political parties and candidates was subject to minor amendments, because of two issues.

“The first relates to 73 payments which the Electoral Commission received on time but could not link to a party or candidate as the payment did not contain the correct deposit reference number,” he added.

“The second issue relates to any court challenge of disqualification by parties or candidates. The Electoral Commission is aware of at least one party which has approached the Electoral Court to overturn its disqualification for non-payment of deposit.”

There are a total of 4,649 unique ballot papers for the 2016 elections, including 4,392 ward ballot papers, 205 local council proportional representation ballot papers, eight metropolitan council proportional representation ballot papers and 44 district council ballot papers.

“Voters in metros will complete two ballot papers and voters in all other municipalities will complete three ballot papers. The Electoral Commission plans to print approximately 80 million copies of ballot papers to ensure sufficient ballots for all voters,” Mashinini explained.

Approximately 60 per cent of the candidates contesting the elections are male and 40 per cent are female. However, Mashinini noted that the gender parity is more closely achieved in proportional representation lists where the gender ration is 52 men to 48 women.

Limpopo Province has the highest number of women candidates (43 per cent), followed by Eastern Cape and Northern Cape provinces, both 42 per cent and Free State Province with 41 per cent.