South African national elections set for May 2019

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has indicated that the national elections will take place on a Wednesday in May 2019.

In a press conference held on Wednesday (7 November), IEC chairperson, Glen Mashinini said the official date will be confirmed by President Ramaphosa closer to the time.

The IEC also confirmed that it will hold a second and final voter registration weekend for the 2019 national and provincial elections.

“The country’s 22,932 voting stations will open from 08h00 to 17h00 on Saturday 26 January and Sunday 27 January 2019 to allow new voters to register and existing voters to update and to check their registration details,” Mashinini said.

He noted that there are currently 26.1 million registered voters on the national common voters’ roll.

Currently, the lowest voter registration levels are for voters aged 18 – 19 (15.6% of estimated eligible population) and 20 – 29 (56.7% of estimated eligible population).

He added that the IEC hopes to see at least one million voters added to the voters’ roll ahead of the 2019 elections.

“Voters should take a copy of their bar-coded ID book, smart card ID or temporary ID certificate when they go to register in the voting district in which they ordinarily reside,” he said.

“When registering, voters will need to provide their address or a description of where they live to allow the Electoral Commission to place them on the correct segment of the voters’ roll. However, documentation or proof of address is not required.”

A registration weekend is also being planned for voters living abroad at South Africa’s 120 High Commissions, embassies and consulates. The IEC said that it will announce dates once final arrangements have been concluded with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

The overseas registration weekend is likely to take place just before or just after the South Africa weekend and will accommodate countries which have a weekend on Friday and Saturday.

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South African national elections set for May 2019