3 things you need to know about the 2024 General Elections

  • The 2024 General Elections introduce some new procedures owing to the fact that both national and provincial elections will be held at the same time.
  • Adding further complications, independent candidates and political parties will be contesting the elections.
  • South Africans should take note of deadlines for Special Votes and voting at station different from the station you are registered at.

The 2024 General Elections are set to take place on 29th May and the government has highlighted some key information worth knowing about this year’s proceedings.

1. Special Votes applications open next month

The first piece of advice is that applications for special votes will be open from 15th April to 3rd May. A special vote is reserved for a person who can’t travel to their voting station on 29th May because they are physically unable, disabled or pregnant. Special votes can be cast on a predetermined date at your voting station, or at your home in some instances. You can find more information on Special Votes here.

2. Vote at your own voting station

This is not especially new information but it warrants repeating. You can only vote at the voting station you are registered at. You can only cast your vote at another voting station if you inform the Independent Electoral Commission beforehand. This notice must be given by 17th May and is not the same as a special vote. You can check which station you are registered to vote at by visiting this website or texting your ID number to 32810.

3. Three ballots not two

The 2024 General Elections will be the first where independent candidates and parties can vy for votes. As such, voters will receive three ballot papers on 29th May.

  • Ballot 1: National Ballot to vote for a political party to lead the country in the National Assembly. This ballot will include parties who have contested the elections before.
  • Ballot 2: Regional Ballot to vote for independent candidates and parties in your region.
  • Ballot 3: Provincial Ballot to vote for parties or independent candidates and parties contesting the provincial legislature.

As per the norm, you will also be required to present an ID card, ID book or a temporary ID in order to cast your vote. You must also be 18-years-old to vote.

The IEC announced earlier this month that 27.79 million voters had registered for these elections, the most since the history of South Africa’s elections. The largest number of voters – 42 percent of the roll or 11.7 million voters – are in the 18 – 39 years range.

This suggests that younger South Africans are set to influence the future of the country and voice their frustrations with the cost of living, corruption and loadshedding at the polls.

The voting process. Source: IEC

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