The Independent Electoral Commission says it is ready to take on the gargantuan task of tallying all the votes that will come through on voting day, 8 May 2019.
The final election results are expected to be announced on Saturday, 11 May 2019, from the National Results Operation Centre in Pretoria, which launched at the end of April.
Following the election and the results announcement on Saturday, the country will set up its new parliament and inaugurate a new president before the end of the month.
- The first sitting of the new National Assembly has been provisionally set for 22 May 2019, where the new members of parliament will be sworn in.
- The president of the country will also be elected at this sitting.
- The first sitting of the new National Council of Provinces has been provisionally set for 23 May 2019.
- The presidential inauguration is scheduled to take place on 25 May 2019 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.
What you need to know on the day
While the nation will head to the polls on Wednesday to cast their vote, the elections have already started.
International voters have already cast their ballots at voting stations around the world on 27 April, with 29,334 voters having been approved to vote overseas at over 121 of South Africa’s foreign missions.
And on Monday (6 May), special voting opened for those who applied for special voter status. This includes people who are unable travel to their voting station because they are physically frail, disabled or pregnant, or can’t vote at their voting station on election day for other valid reasons.
Voting stations will open nationally on 8 May at 07h00, and will remain open until 21h00.
- To vote, you must present a valid South African ID;
- The only valid forms of ID are a green barcoded ID book, smart ID card, or valid temporary ID;
- You will be given two ballots – a national ballot and a provincial ballot;
- Registered voters can vote at any voting station in the country on election day. If you vote in the province in which you’re registered, you will get both the national and provincial ballots. If you vote outside of your province, you will only receive the national ballot;
- There should be an election stamp on the back of both ballots;
- Your vote takes place in a private booth. No one should be present or interfere;
- You place your vote in a ballot box, which will be sealed with different party seals to ensure no tampering;
- Your thumbnail will be marked with indelible ink.
The 2019 national elections are set to be one of the most hotly contested since the dawn of democracy, with many stakeholders – from businesses to investors and opposition parties – keeping a close eye on the ANC’s performance.
The ANC, which has secure strong majorities in elections since 1994, has seen its support base dwindle following a disastrous period under Jacob Zuma.
However, the party’s 2019 political campaign has hinged on change within the party, and a promise of a new dawn to correct the mistakes of the last decade.
The country’s biggest opposition party, the DA, meanwhile has faced problems of its own. After showing growth in support in each election the party has contested, pre-election polling shows that it may suffer its first decline.
The party has been beset by in-fighting between leaders, which culminated in the exit (or expulsion) of former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, who set up her own party, GOOD, to contest the 2019 election.
With wobbles in both the ANC and DA, it’s the EFF that has emerged as a party that could benefit.