South Africa’s elections: facts and voting procedures

Here are some key facts to note about the ongoing election.
UPDATE: South Africa election facts and voting procedures

South Africans have begun casting their votes in the country’s sixth
democratic general election since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Here are some key facts about the election:

  • There are 26.7 million South Africans registered to vote, almost half
    of the population.
  • Voters will cast ballots at 22,925 polling stations that opened at
    07:00 hours and will remain open until 21:00 hours.
  • As many as 29,000 South African expatriates cast their ballots at
    various foreign diplomatic missions a week and a half ago.
  • There are 48 political parties contesting the national elections with
    the ANC, the DA and the EFF at the fore.
  • South Africans vote in National and Provincial Elections every 5
    years.
  • In terms of the Constitution, the elections must be held within 90 days
    of the expiry of the sitting National Assembly and Provincial
    Legislatures.
  • The election date is proclaimed by the President of the Republic of
    South Africa.
  • 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.
  • National and provincial elections are two different elections to
    choose representatives to the National Assembly and Provincial
    Legislatures. Although they are different elections, they are held on
    the same day.
  • 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
    that receives majority of the votes. The first sitting of the new
    parliament is provisionally scheduled for May 22.
  • Provincial assemblies comprise of 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 announced that results will be released on Saturday.
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Are you a South African voter? Here are the voting procedures for you:

• Find your correct voting station
• Present your valid identification document to the door controller at
the entrance of the voting station
• Check that you are on the voters’ roll
• Get your ballot papers
• Get your identification documents stamped
• Find an empty voting booth and make your ‘X’
• Cast your vote
• Ensuring voting is free and fair


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