South Africa Braces for Landmark Election

May 28, 2024
South Africa Set for Pivotal General Election | Report Focus News
South Africa Set for Pivotal General Election

Nearly 28 million South Africans will vote on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, in what could be the most closely contested election since the end of apartheid in 1994. Opinion polls suggest the African National Congress (ANC) might lose its majority for the first time in 30 years.

This is South Africa’s seventh democratic election, occurring amid high unemployment and crime rates. Voters will cast three ballots: one for a political party, one for provincial representation, and one for provincial legislature members. The president is elected by the 400 National Assembly members within 30 days of the election.

Seventy political parties and 11 independent candidates are running. The main opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA) led by John Steenhuisen, may form a coalition with the ANC. The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), led by Julius Malema, and the MK Party, led by former President Jacob Zuma, are also significant contenders.

Polls indicate the ANC could receive less than 50% of the vote, potentially leading to a coalition. The ANC is still expected to win the largest share, likely keeping President Cyril Ramaphosa in office unless an internal challenge arises.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) must announce full results within seven days, with partial results typically starting to emerge within hours of polls closing.