Election poster rules – what political parties can and can’t do for 2024

 ·19 Nov 2023

The 2024 National Election period has commenced, and political parties have started erecting election posters across the country, but the City of Cape Town has reminded parties of the Election Poster Rules in South Africa.

“The city would like to remind the public that in terms of the Election Rules for posters during voter registration and the General Election, political parties are allowed to erect only one poster per street light.”

“Importantly, posters may not be erected on traffic signal poles, electrical or service authority distribution boxes, or poles with road traffic signs, any other street furniture, walls, trees, rocks or natural features, or any other poles other than streetlight poles,” said the city.

It added that the rules below apply only during official election processes administered by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and are only for registered political parties and the IEC.

Outside of such official Election Period, the standard Outdoor Advertising and Signage Bylaw rules and fees are applicable, noted the city.

These rules intend to regulate the display of Voter Registration posters, pre-election political events by parties before the official election period date being set, by-election poster rules, and the official political campaign and event posters displayed during the official election period.

Rules for national, provincial, and local government elections are as follows:

  • Although there is no limit on the number of political party posters permitted, only one election poster per party per light pole is allowed, and only one additional event poster (e.g. a poster advertising a meeting or rally) per party per light pole;
  • Posters may not be put onto bus stop signs, street name signs or any poles carrying traffic signs;
  • Posters are to be mounted on a board and affixed securely with stout string or plastic fastening unless a permanent frame has been approved for this purpose. No securing material with a metal content is permitted;
  • No pasted posters are permitted;
  • Posters may not exceed 0,9m x 0,6m (AO and the main lettering height must be at least 50mm);
  • No commercial content is permitted on any political posters, and the name of the party responsible for the display must appear on the poster;
  • Posters are not permitted on electrical distribution boxes, any street furniture (e.g. bus shelters), walls, fences, trees, rocks or other natural features; and
  • Posters are prohibited on any bridge.

The city added that National, Provincial and Local Government election posters are to be removed within 10 days after the election. The string or plastic fasteners must be removed as well. Any poster not removed within the above-stipulated removal deadlines shall be removed by the Municipality at the Party’s cost, it added.

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