Election date announced

The date for the 2024 General National and Provincial elections has been set. Picture: Karen Sandison

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced Wednesday May 29 as the date for the 2024 General National and Provincial elections.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said in a statement that for the first time in the country’s history, South Africans registered to vote in these elections will receive three ballot papers at their voting stations.

In previous elections, there were only two ballots – a National Ballot for the National Assembly (Parliament), and a Provincial Ballot for the Provincial Legislature of the province.

The third ballot is for the regional seats reserved for each of the regions in the National Assembly. Because a region refers to the same territorial area as a province, the terms “regional” and “provincial” are simply to distinguish between the seats reserved for that region in Parliament (regional seats) and seats in the Provincial Legislatures of that province (provincial seats).

Voters in the Western Cape will therefore receive at their voting stations:

A National Ballot – this ballot is the same for the whole country where you vote for a political party only.

A Western Cape Regional Ballot – this a vote for an independent or party to fill the regional seats reserved in Parliament for the Western Cape.

A Western Cape Provincial Ballot – this is a vote for an independent or party for the Western Cape Provincial Legislature.

The change has come as a result of the Electoral Amendment Act that provides for the inclusion of independent candidates to run for office as a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly.

“It’s a significant milestone in the evolution of our democracy and at its core seeks to expand electoral participation. For example, the Western Cape will specifically be represented in the National Assembly through the regional seats,” said Michael Hendrickse, provincial electoral officer.

The 400 seats in the National Assembly are filled as follows:

200 are reserved for the regional seats. Each province thus gets a number of regional seats based on the number of voters in that province. Independents and parties contest for these seats.

The remaining 200 seats in the National Assembly are filled by national PR lists of political parties only, as independents are already catered for on the regional ballot(s).

South African citizens who have not yet registered or who have not yet updated registration details such as change of address, have until Friday February 23 to do so on the online voter portal at www.elections.org.za or at IEC offices during office hours. This is when the election date will appear in the Government Gazette, signalling closure of the Voters’ Roll for these elections.

To check your registration status, you can:

Send your ID number to 31820 at a cost of R1 per SMS; or Use the IEC Whatsapp chatbot at 0600 88 0000; or Contact the call centre during office hours at 0800 11 8000.