Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

IEC on why 2024 elections will be different

This year's national and provincial elections coincide with South Africa's 30th anniversary of democracy.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) says it is ready to deliver free and fair elections as South Africa prepares go to the polls in a few months.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Tuesday night that the 2024 general elections will be held on 29 May.

This year’s national and provincial elections coincide with South Africa’s 30th anniversary of democracy.


The IEC has welcomed Ramaphosa’s announcement, saying it can now finalise its preparations for the elections.

“This pronouncement of the election date provides an unambiguous motivation for the commission to pull out all the stops in the intensification of preparations for election day.

“The Electoral Commission reiterates its commitment and readiness to ensure a successful 2024 general elections,” the IEC said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The announcement comes after successful voter registration campaign which included two general registration weekends, overseas voter registration drive, campus activations and registration within correctional services centres,” the statement further reads.

The commission urged South Africans that eligible voters have until Friday to register to vote, which is the day Ramaphosa is anticipated to make a proclamation of the election date.

ALSO READ: 29 May: Election date reignites calls for South Africans to register to vote

In an interview with SABC News, IEC deputy chief electoral officer (CEO) Masego Sheburi said the announcement provided “certainty” to the commission.

“It creates certainty for those who want to participate as contestants, be it on the party list or as [independent candidates],” he said.

Sheburi said the election date announcement followed consultation between Ramaphosa and the IEC.

“The president has announced the date [but] he has not yet formalised that by way of a proclamation so between today and the date on which he proclaims, which we anticipate will be on Friday. Those persons who are still unregistered still have an opportunity to do so or update their details online. [They can also] do so at our offices during working hours.”

The IEC official highlighted that Ramaphosa would meet with the commission as well as the premiers of all provinces to have discussions about the “roadmap” towards the elections.

“The commission, following proclamation by the president and premiers, will consult with the party liaison committee to derive an election timetable.”

READ MORE: 2024 elections: IEC looking to counter ‘threat’ of fake news

He further highlighted that this year’s elections would be “different” due to the participation of independent candidates.

“With each election, the number of competing parties increases. For this election, we will also have independents and their numbers are still indeterminate because their nominations is yet to open.

“Once we finalise candidate nomination, we will be able to print, in the immutable window period that we have, ballots and make them available.”

Eligible voters

Meanwhile, the IEC has reminded the public that voters were required to cast their ballot at a voting station where they are registered.

“The only exception to the rule is that a voter may vote outside of the voting district of registration only if they first notify the commission by a date which will be regulated by the election timetable.”

The commission had targeted 39.7 million people for the elections, but only 27.6 million registered to vote so far.

In the 2019 national and provincial elections, the voters roll stood at 26.7 million eligible voters.

Voter turnout in 2019 was 66.05%. If there is a similar turnout, only 18 million people would have voted.

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