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ELECTORALCOMMISSION UPDATES THE NATION ON PROGRESS IN PREPARATION FOR THE 2024 NATIONAL AND PROVINCIAL ELECTIONS

The Electoral Commission reports that substantial progress has been made in preparation for the 2024 National and Provincial Elections (NPE2024). We therefore are pleased to report on the progress relating to the following milestones.

CANDIDATE NOMINATION

On April 12, the Commission issued certificates to the 14 889 candidates who will contest 887 seats in the forthcoming elections. Nominations of candidates closed on 8 March 2024 and following processes of verifications and objections 70 political parties, and 11 independent candidates were published as final contestants in these elections.   

Fifteen political parties are contesting all tiers of the elections which means the compensatory seats in the National Assembly, the nine province-to-national elections as well as the nine provincial legislatures. A total of 31 political parties will contest the national elections for the first time.

An analysis of the list of candidates reflects that at 58.14% or 8 658, are male, with female candidates at 41,86% or 6 234. Candidates in the age category 40-49 are the majority at 4 361, followed by the 3 708 in the 50-59 age category and the 3 406 in the 30-39 age group. Voters who are over 60 stands at 1 924 and those between the ages of 18-29 are 1 493.

Notably, there are 15 candidates who at 18 years are also first-time voters. Of the 15, nine are female and six are male. These candidates are spread across eight political parties. There are 17 candidates who are aged 80 years and more. The majority 16 are male candidates standing for four political parties leaving only one female candidate in the age category.

On gender representation, 15 political parties have a female representation of 50% and above. Seven parties achieved a 40% and a further 14 parties have a 30% female representation on their lists.

BALLOT PAPERS

The finalisation of the list of candidates contesting seats in the NPE2024 means that the Commission can now go ahead with the printing of ballot papers for the elections.

The 27.79 million registered voters will receive three ballot papers to elect candidates to represent them in the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures.

The use of the three ballots follows the amendment of the Electoral Act, which was signed into law in April 2023. This amendment revised the electoral system to allow independent candidates to contest in the regional (province-to-national) tier of the National Assembly and the Provincial Legislatures. Although the phenomenon of three ballots will be familiar to voters in various local municipalities, it will be new to voters in metropolitan areas and for the first time in general elections for national and provinces.

There are a total of 400 contested seats in the National Assembly. The proportional representation compensatory 200 seats will be contested by political parties only and there is a dedicated ballot paper for this tier of the National Assembly.  The remaining regional or province-to-national 200 seats will be contested by independent candidates and political parties. This tier of the National Assembly will also have a dedicated ballot paper. This means that National Assembly elections will be based on two ballot papers (national ballot and the newly introduced regional or province-to-national ballot).

Therefore, in respect of the elections of the National Assembly voters may elect a preferred party on the national ballot and elect another preferred party or independent on the regional ballot. However, in respect of provincial elections, voters will elect a preferred party or independent candidate on a single provincial ballot.

The three ballot papers are as follows:

The National Ballot: This ballot will consist of a list of political parties vying for seats for 200 seats in the National Assembly. This ballot will be used to vote for political parties. There are currently 52 parties who will be on this ballot and the configuration will be a dual column.  

The Regional or Province-to-National Ballots: It will have political parties and independents candidates contesting for the seats reserved for each province in the National Assembly. Voters will use this ballot to elect a political party or an independent candidate to represent them in the National Assembly. The number of contestants range from 30 to 44 on regional ballots. The configuration of this ballot is single column.

The Provincial Ballots. This ballot is unique to each province and includes parties and independent candidates competing for seats in each respective provincial legislature. This ballot will allow voters to choose either a political party or an independent candidate to represent them in provincial legislatures. The number of contestants range from 24 to 45 on the provincial legislatures ballots.

The Commission has decided that the design of the ballot papers will be underpinned by the following identifiers:

  • Full registered name of the party
  • The photograph of the registered party leader
  • Registered abbreviated name of the party
  • The registered emblem or symbol of the party

In respect of independent candidate, the ballot papers will have;

  • the name of the independent;
  • the photograph bearing the face of the independent and
  • the word “INDEPENDENT”.

The Commission urges voters to carefully review and mark each of these three ballot papers before depositing them into the ballot box. Our appeal to voters is to remember that they can only put one mark on each ballot, more than one mark will result in a spoiled vote and not counted.

The Universal Ballot Template (UBT), whose dimensions are benchmarked against the longest ballot paper, is in production and will be available in all voting stations. The UBT can be used by blind and partially sighted people, low-vision users, people who are dyslexic, and people with motor and neuron conditions which do not allow for a steady hand.

LOGISTICS

As we announced earlier, over 95 percent of logistical supplies for election day are already at hand. We are in the process of distributing 1 873 tonnes of material between our different warehousing and storage facilities across the country. 

VOTING STATIONS 

In consort with the provisions of the election timetable, the Electoral Commission has also published the list of addresses of the 23 292 voting stations that will be used in these elections. The route for mobile voting stations has also been published. The highest number of voting stations will be in Kwazulu-Natal (4 974), Eastern Cape (4 868), Limpopo (3 216). All voting stations are now contracted with lease agreements concluded with landlords or owners. 

A list of the voting stations can be found on the Electoral Commission’s website.

SPECIAL VOTES

Applications for special votes, for the purposes of home visits and voting station visits, opened on 15 April 2024 and will close on 3 May 2024. Home visits are intended for those voters who are unable to travel to voting stations whilst special votes at voting stations are for everyone who is unable to be at the voting station on election day. Special voting will be conducted on the two days preceding election day, on 27 and 28 May 2024.

Special votes may be accessed using one of the following modalities:

  • Using our secured online application form found at www.elections.org.za
  • By SMSing your identity number to 32249 (R1.00 per SMS) for voting station visit only.
  • By visiting your local IEC office and submitting an Appendix 1B form for a voting station special vote.
  • By visiting your local IEC office and submitting an Appendix 1A form for a home visit special vote. Forms can also be hand-delivered, but someone else can deliver a form on behalf of a voter.

Special votes will also be administered at South Africa’s diplomatic missions abroad to service 58 000 registered voters. These voters will be provided for at the diplomatic missions of the republic.

The Electoral Commission invites South Africans who are registered on the local segments of the voters’ roll but who may be temporarily absent from the country to notify it of the intended absence and the mission where they intend to vote. Such notifications must be lodged with the Chief Electoral Officer by 22 April 2024. As of today 9 100, such notifications have been approved.

Special votes at the diplomatic missions will take place 10 days ahead of general voting in the country on 17 May or 18 May 2024 depending on the weekend configuration of the country.  

Those travelling out of country and between countries must take note that the period to notify the Electoral Commission at which mission outside the country they will be voting closes on 22 April 2024.

VOTE WHERE YOU ARE REGISTERED

Finally, voters are reminded that they may only vote at a voting station at which they are registered. Voters who will inevitably be away from their voting districts on election day, 29 May 2024, may give a Section 24A notice of their intention to vote at another identified voting station by no later than 17 May 2024.

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SOURCED FROM THE IEC WEBSITE.

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