The May 2019 national elections in South Africa were the most anticipated since the first democratic elections in 1994. There were not only a record number of voters, but the governing party, the ANC has been losing support in droves. This election season has seen not only more voters, but also may first-time voters.
There are numerous regulations that govern how the electoral process works and it’s important for citizens to be informed before they mark their “x”.
What you need to know about the 2019 elections:
1. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is tasked with overseeing the 2019 elections
The process is overseen by the IEC, an impartial entity It ensures that a Code of Conduct applies at voting stations. This includes ensuring that there is no campaigning nearby and that voters are informed. Voters are also not permitted to take photographs of their ballots. The IEC must ensure that the voting process is fair and without interference by any political party.
2. Results are released within three days
The results, following a thorough verification process by the IEC, are released to the nation within three days.
3. Citizens are encouraged to vote at the voting station where they are registered
Although this doesn’t always happen, the IEC encourages it. Voters are required to bring their valid ID a with their application sticker. In 2019, ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa voted in Chaiwelo, Soweto where he used to live.
4. There are 32 million people eligible to vote in South Africa
Of this number, 26.1 million of them are registered. There have been numerous campaigns to drive more people to register to vote and be active citizens.
5. Breaches of the IEC’s Code of Conduct can lead to prison terms
Violating any of the rules of the election process according to this code of conduct is a criminal offence, while breaches can be reported to the Electoral Court on 051 412 7400.