Facts and voting procedures for South Africa election

There are 26.7 million South Africans, almost half of the population, registered to vote.
Facts and voting procedures for South Africa election

South Africans go to the polls on Wednesday for the country’s sixth democratic general election since the end of apartheid in 1994. 

Some key facts about the election:

  • Voters will cast ballots for national legislators and leaders of the country’s nine provinces. Voters do not directly elect individual candidates. They vote for a political party.
  • Using a proportional representation system, the number of votes cast for each party will determine the number of seats it gets in parliament. Each party will then distribute the seats to a list of pre-selected members. 
  • The lawmakers will then elect the country’s president from the party which receives the majority of votes. The first sitting of the new parliament is provisionally scheduled for May 22.
  • There are 26.7 million South Africans, almost half of the population, registered to vote. 
  • Voters will cast ballots at 22,925 polling stations that will open for 14 hours starting at 05:00 GMT.
  • As many as 29,000 South African expatriates cast their ballots at various foreign diplomatic missions a week ago.
  • There are 48 political parties contesting the national elections.
  • Provincial assemblies comprise between 30 and 80 members, from where four members are picked to serve in the upper house of the National Assembly, the National Council of Provinces. 
  • Final results from the elections must be released within seven days. The Independent Electoral Commission has in past elections managed to release results within three days of the vote.
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