“As we prepare for the elections, we are aware that challenges may escalate… We prepared meticulously for the election,” she said at a breakfast briefing organised by The New Age newspaper in Johannesburg.
“There is a tendency for political parties’ temperatures to rise.”
Tlakula called for tolerance and respect during the election, saying she acknowledged citizens’ right to protest, but cautioned against infringing on the rights of others.
As an election management body, the IEC did not enforce the law, and acts of intimidation needed to be reported to the police, she said.
In areas where there were service delivery protests, the commission would hold peace meetings to ensure the area was conducive to a free and fair election.
“It is important for government to step in here [because] service delivery is not our issue, it’s government’s,” she said.
Tlakula welcomed fair criticism and challenges to the election results by political parties.
She promised transparency, and the IEC’s constant pursuit of improvement.
The election date has not yet been announced.
The briefing was televised live on SABC2.