Full coverage | South Africa elections 2024

Real-time updates, breaking news, and in-depth analysis.

03/06 13:45

Our special post-election edition

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03/06 09:34

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02/06 20:45

IEC confirms election results as talks about talks get underway

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has confirmed the results of the national and provincial elections despite threats of “trouble” from Jacob Zuma, with the two largest parties – the ANC and the Democratic Alliance – opening the door to coalitions with each other.

IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya said on Sunday that after “carefully” considering the extent measures of Section 57 of the Electoral Act put in place, he was satisfied to declare the results of the elections, whose credibility had been questioned by the Umkhonto we Sizwe party and 25 others.

They had written to the IEC threatening court action should the declaration of the results go ahead, with Zuma upping the ante with his warning that doing so was a “provocation,” but the official ceremony went ahead as planned on Sunday evening.


02/06 19:15

KwaZulu-Natal leads voter turnout, Jacob Zuma’s MK party dominates provincial and national ballots

KwaZulu-Natal had the largest voter turnout in the country, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said at the provincial Result Operation Centre in Durban on Sunday night.

More than 1.58 million voters (45.35%) threw their weight behind Jacob Zuma’s newly formed MK party on their provincial ballots, with the party gaining more than double the support of the IFP, which received 631 503 (18.03%) votes.


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Supporters of the newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party chant slogans while celebrating from vehicles as hundreds of supporters gather to celebrate in Kwaximba on June 02, 2024. (Photo by RAJESH JANTILAL/AFP via Getty Images)

02/06 14:30

MKP leader Jacob Zuma – who made a dramatic entrance to the Result Operation Centre (ROC) in Johannesburg shortly before the IEC was due to brief the media – threw down the gauntlet to the elections authority, saying there would be “no result” before their objections were heard.


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MK Leader Jacob Zuma. There was chaos at the IEC’s Result Operation Centre (ROC) on Saturday night as media scrambled to photograph former president Jacob Zuma. Photo by Delwyn Verasamy/M&G
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02/06 13:50

Mbalula : Zuma party, service delivery collapse and low turnout cost the ANC its majority

The ANC believes low voter turnout, the emergence of Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe party and public dissatisfaction over service delivery all contributed to the party losing its majority nationally.

ANC secretary general Fikile Mbalula on Sunday briefed the media for the first time on the party’s performance in the national and provincial poll, saying that it accepted the will of the voters.

“The people of South Africa have made their wishes known in free and fair elections and we must all respect them.”


02/06 9:30

It’s results day!

The Electoral Commission of South Africa will announce the national and provincial election results at 18:00.

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01/06 23:30

Zuma issues sinister threat of ‘trouble’, but IEC says plans for election announcement are on track

The outcome of the national and provincial elections is on a knife edge, with the Umkhonto weSizwe party (MKP) and 25 others calling on the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) to delay the result while dealing with their claims of vote rigging.

MKP leader Jacob Zuma – who made a dramatic entrance to the Result Operation Centre (ROC) in Johannesburg on Saturday night, shortly before the IEC was due to brief the media – threw down the gauntlet to the elections authority, saying there would be “no result” before their objections were heard.


There was chaos at the IEC’s Result Operation Centre (ROC) on Saturday night as media scrambled to photograph former president Jacob Zuma, who now leads the MK party. (Photo by Delwyn Verasamy/MG)

01/06 20:23

01/06 20:02

01/06 20:00

Smile, Baba

Former president Jacob Zuma, accompanied by his daughter Duduzile, cuts a disoriented figure as camera flashes and questions fly at him at the Results Operation Centre in Johannesburg, on Saturday night. Photo: Luke Feltham

01/06 18:03

IEC prepared to recount votes if audit outcomes motivate for it – Anathi Madubele

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said every concern or objection raised in terms of the electoral process will be considered, and if need be there will be a recount. 

The IEC held a media briefing on Saturday afternoon following objections from certain parties, with some saying they will reject the election outcome if there isn’t a recount. 

The Mail & Guardian recently reported that the Umkhonto we Sizwe party is calling for a recount of the ballots cast in Wednesday’s elections, claiming that the process was rigged to prevent it from securing an outright majority in KwaZulu-Natal.


01/06 16:02

Malema vows his EFF presidency is not under threat

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has declared that he intends to remain as party president and it should be clear to any would-be challengers that he is in charge.

Malema made his first appearance of the week at the national results centre in Midrand on Saturday. He arrived as a disappointing result in the national polls had been all but finalised, with the EFF failing to capitalise on the progress made in 2019. However, when asked by the Mail & Guardian at a media briefing whether his position as leader was in jeopardy, he stood defiant.

“If President [Jacob] Zuma can do it at 82, it means that you are going to wait for me until I’m 82 because I will be here,” he said. “I am not going anywhere, it’s not happening, I am here, I’m not going anywhere. Come to me and take chances, I’ll teach you how to live amongst people. I am in charge here, I am not here to play, that must be very clear.” 


01/06 15:56

01/06 13:47

01/06 13:28

“We are still revolutionaries,” says jokingly ACT co-founder and former ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule with ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe on the floor of the ROC in Midrand, Gauteng.

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Ace Magashule and Gwede Mantashe share a joke. Pic: Scott Peter Smith

01/06 13:23

EFF leader Julius Malema arrives at the National Results Operations Centre

WATCH: “uMkhonto uyagwaza. (The Spear is stabbing people),” EFF leader Julius Malema says as he arrives at the National Results Operating Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.

01/06 11:30

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01/06 11:27

DA comfortably retains majority in Western Cape

Close to 20 political parties and independent candidates in the Western Cape are challenging results in the province where a near complete count shows the Democratic Alliance comfortably retaining its majority, senior electoral officials confirmed on Saturday.

The objection in terms of section 55 of the Electoral Act was raised collectively late on Friday and refers to incongruities in vote processing in several districts in the province. One observer likened it to “a class action suit”.

The DA on Friday evening surpassed the 2-million mark of votes nationally, half of which it owed to its support base in the Western Cape.

DA premier Alain Winde declared victory after the party passed the million-vote mark in the province. His speech at the Electoral Commission of SA’s provincial result centre in Cape Town was disrupted by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Patriotic Alliance and other parties shouting “recount”.


01/06 10:55

More “rigged election” allegations

01/06 10:42

MK Party says it will reject election outcome without recount

The Umkhonto we Sizwe party is calling for a recount of the ballots cast in Wednesday’s elections, claiming that the process is being rigged to prevent it from securing an outright majority in KwaZulu-Natal.

The party also wants a recount nationally and in the Western Cape, and has threatened not to accept the outcome of the elections should its concerns not be addressed by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC).

This despite a number of observer missions which had been on site during the voting process indicating their satisfaction that the elections had been conducted in a free and fair manner.

With 97% of the vote counted and the party standing at 14.82% nationally and at 45.9% in KwaZulu-Natal, the party on Friday night called a media briefing – hours after the deadline for objections had passed – to announce that it would not accept the result unless a recount took place.

While the current projected figure means the MK Party is the largest in the province, taking control away from the ANC, it fails to get the magic 50% plus one of the vote, which would allow it to govern KwaZulu-Natal alone.

Read the full article by Paddy Harper here

01/06 09:13

01/06 08:52

01/06 8:32

OPINION: Leadership at a time of seizmic political change

By Richard Calland and Mike Law

The face of South African politics will never be the same again. Wednesday’s general election has increased the speed and velocity of the country’s transition out of ANC dominance exponentially.

People from both the left and the right, and especially from the middle class, have been yearning for the end of ANC dominion for decades. Well, here it is folks. This is what it looks like.

The result of this National General Election leaves South Africa at a profound crossroads. It is a seismic moment for democracy, but also a very delicate one.

As the smoke clears, a new landscape emerges. It is a rugged, complex and precarious one.

It is both a victory for competitive multi-party constitutional democracy and a dangerous lurch away from the centre towards the kind of muscular populism, ethno-nationalism and demagogic narcissism that is now a persistent feature of politics across the world.

There is a clear high road scenario ahead but also a very low road in sight. Both are very much on the table. Risk and uncertainty are rising, and the cause for concern and anxiety is legitimate.

The stakes are very high.


31/05 22:56

31/05 22:32

31/05 19:42

Just over 75% of vote counted in KZN, says provincial IEC Lyse Comins

KwaZulu-Natal has completed counting 75.5% of the vote and results for 13 municipalities have been finalised and audited.

This was the update from the IEC’s provincial electoral officer in KwaZulu-Natal, Ntombifuthi Masinga, late on Friday afternoon.

Masinga said the staff at the results processing centre in eThekwini were capturing the results before an external firm of auditors, sourced through an open procurement process, checked them.

“The process is that when the results arrive at the capturing site in each of our municipalities they need to ensure this envelope carrying results have not been tampered with. From there, it goes to our staff who capture the results,” she said.

“And once they’ve been captured, they then go to the external firm of auditors …They have their own code to access our system, but they’ve got their own platform within our system, where they capture the same results, and those two results have got to match.”

“If everything matches, the result is finalised, and that’s what you see on your screen here (the results board). If there is anything that doesn’t match, whether it is the results of individual parties and independents, whether it’s the tally at the bottom, the auditor rejects that result, it creates an exception, and it has to be investigated,” Masinga said.

Masinga said that among the finalised municipalities are Ugu, Umdoni, Danhauser, Umgeni, Mpofana and Impendle.

“That’s where we sit in the province in terms of capturing, and we are working on a deadline for 8pm today. As you would know, eThekwini carries the bulk of our voting stations. Out of the 4974 voting stations in the province, eThekwini accounts for 864 of those,” she said.

“So, as expected, eThekwini will be the last to finalise their results, but we have also beefed up our teams in eThekwini. There is a shift that has gone to rest. They are coming back now, and we’re going to have two teams working together to make sure that we meet the deadline that has been set,” she said.

“In other municipalities, even though figures differ, the majority of them are looking quite good in terms of where they stand. What we can promise is that we are not going to go to bed until eThekwini is finalised, because we want to conclude this process,” Masinga said.

She said the preliminary provincial results would be announced on Sunday at 4pm at the processing centre before the final results of the elections are gazetted within seven days as prescribed by law.

Masinga said the IEC had received three objections from political parties and individuals, one involved an older person with dementia who cast a special vote, the second was about a voting station being moved from the University of KwaZulu-Natal to Manor Gardens Primary School. She said she was not yet able to elaborate on the third objection as the commission was still considering it.

Masinga said the issue of a ballot box that fell out of an area manager’s vehicle in uMhlathuze after the results had been counted was still under investigation. She said the box had disappeared by the time staff realised it had fallen off the vehicle. However, she said the results had not been compromised as the votes had been counted and the result recorded in duplicate, with one copy attached to the window of the voting station so the public could view it.

SAPS KZN police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi said police are still investigating the matter.

31/05 16:45

You have to hand it to JZ the Reaper. He likes to finish the job he started. This week’s @mailandguardian cartoon.


31/05 15:56

31/05 15.09

Survey finds confidence in electoral outcome has declined – Anathi Madubela

Fewer people were confident that their votes would be counted accurately in this week’s general elections compared with the 2019 polls. 

A survey conducted by the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), in partnership with the Human Sciences Research Council, found that just 45% of the 13 155 people interviewed said they were confident that their votes would be counted accurately. This is down from 60% in 2019. 

Voters were interviewed when they went to the polls for the national and provincial elections on Wednesday. The aim of the survey was to establish their opinions and perceptions and to understand their experience of the voting process.

At voting stations in all nine provinces, fieldworkers randomly selected 50 voters for interviewing to ensure a fair representation, the IEC said in a statement on Friday. The survey had a 1% margin of error. 

The IEC said 12% of the people surveyed reported experiencing someone trying to force them to vote for a certain political party or candidate, while 9% reported that the coercion occurred before election day by either party agents or family and friends. Four percent said the coercion happened while they were queuing to vote. 

The commission said election officials were barely mentioned as a source of electoral coercion. 

The IEC said of those reporting coercion in the survey, 73% said it had no bearing on their electoral choice, while 25% said it did and 2% were uncertain. It said 3% of those surveyed had changed their vote. 

The voter satisfaction survey found that queuing time at voting stations had increased, relative to more recent elections, and this had a bearing on electoral evaluations. 

On voting day, thousands of people waited in long queues to cast their ballots, well past the 9pm mark when polling stations were supposed to close. 

The IEC said on Thursday that all of them had been given the opportunity to vote, with the last ballot being cast in the early hours of that morning.

The uMkhonto weSizwe party of Jacob Zuma has accused the IEC of denying South Africans the constitutional right to choose their government. The party called for the IEC’s leadership to resign in a statement on Thursday, accusing the commission of focusing its energies on the “persecution and disqualification” of the former president to favour the ANC, instead of running free and fair elections

31/05/ 14.34

Inkatha Freedom Party National Council Member, Thobias Gumede, is confident the party, which is currently in third position in KwaZulu-Natal with 53.36% of votes counted, will finish well on Sunday when the results are announced.

31/05 14:04

Steenhuisen ‘disappointed’ by performance of some parties in MPCMandisa Nyathi

With early signs of a poor showing by some parties in the party Multi-Party Charter, Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen says his party will consider entering into a coalition agreement with parties outside the MPC.

Addressing the media at the national result operation centre on Friday, Steenhuisen said he was disappointed with the performance of the MPC partners.

“I am also disappointed with the results; ActionSA told us that they are going to bring 10,5% of the vote to the table, but it doesn’t look like that is going to materialise,” he said.

The DA entered into the pre-election coalition agreement, which included the Inkatha Freedom Party, African Christian Democratic Party, ActionSA, and the Freedom Front Plus, in the hope that the partners would garner enough support at the polls to take over government.

Steenhuisen added that while the DA’s first priority would be to consult the MPC partners, they would be looking at other political parties to take them a step closer to the union building.

“Our first priority is to meet with the MPC partners, but if it is not possible for us to form  a coalition in a provincial or national level, if we can’t, we will  look at other partners to talk to who were necessarily not part of the MPC going into the elections,” he said, adding that no party was off the table for negotiation.

On Thursday, chairperson of the DA federal council, Helen Zille, refused to rule out the idea of working with the ANC.

Steenhuisen said he was impressed with Jacob Zuma’s uMkhonto weSizwe party, which was eating away the ANC’s traditional base support in KwaZulu-Natal.

“It’s their spinelessness to deal with the prospect of Mr. Zuma and his sins of omission and commission that has led to him being a political force now that has come and wiped them out in places like KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of the country,” he said.

31/05 13:10

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31/05 12:56

ANC Chairperson and Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe shares a light moment with the leader of the African Christian Democratic Party Reverend Kenneth Meshoe at the Results Operation Centre in Midrand, Gauteng on Friday.

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Gwede Mantashe shares a light moment with Reverend Kenneth Meshoe. Pic: Scott Peter Smith

31/05 12:46

The IEC was short of money and time ahead of polls – By Emsie Ferreira and Lyse Comins

It was of course the uMkhonto weSizwe party party that fired the first shot at the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) after logistical problems left voters standing in long, winter-cold queues deep into the night on Wednesday.

In accusing the commission of denying South Africans the constitutional right to choose their government, the party was continuing Jacob Zuma’s timeworn strategy of undermining key institutions, including the revenue service and the prosecuting authority, for political and private gain.

The party called for the IEC’s leadership to resign in a missive on Thursday morning, for focusing on its “persecution and disqualification” of the former president to favour the ANC, instead of running free and fair elections.

The inference was clear and crude — the commission, in an act of bias, had subverted the democratic will of the people to be led by Zuma again. He does not believe in constitutional limits, anyway.

It is a dangerous attack on a body that has won credit for the way in which it has handled six previous post-apartheid national elections but went into this one burdened by financial and operational challenges. The biggest of the latter was implementing a new electoral system enshrined in an amendment bill only signed into law in April last year.


31/05 11:04

Scenes from the National Results Operation Centre, Midrand, Gauteng on 30 May.

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Scenes from the National Results Operations Centre in Midrand, Gauteng. Numerous political leaders, media and government officials are present to watch the results come in on 30 May 2024. Pics: Delwyn Verasamy, M&G
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31/05 10:43

Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen made an appearance at the National Results Operation Centre in Midrand, Gauteng.

Earlier in the campaign, Steenhuisen predicted that no single party would win an outright majority in this national election. However, the results have been more surprising than anticipated.

With just under 70% of the votes counted in the Western Cape, the DA is on track to match its 2019 performance and win an outright majority in the province.

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Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen talks to media at the ROC, Midrand. Pic: Scott Peter Smith

30/05 21:12

Graphic Turnout

30/05 20:35

Graphic Calland Coalitions2

30/05 20:05

Rand and JSE endure election beating – Anathi Madubela

The rand and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) fell on Thursday, as results from the elections trickled in, spooking investors. 

Coalition talks became a reality when the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), a government research agency, issued a statement projecting that the ANC would only get 42% of the vote. 

By 4pm, results had been concluded for 22.6% of the 23 292 voting districts, which represents 2.3 million votes cast. The results showed that the ANC received 43.41% of the vote, a sharp decline from the 57.50% it received in 2019, but not quite as bad as the CSIR had predicted. 

During evening trade, the rand was at R18.63,  a recovery from the R18.76 during early trade. 

Sanisha Packirisamy, an economist at Momentum Investments, said the CSIR’s prediction had scared the market because, if it was correct, then “it’s all bets off the table and parties will start talking about coalitions”. 

She noted that it would also mean that the ANC would need a larger coalition partner to get a majority of the vote. 

“That would be a negative scenario for markets because they believe there could be a risk of more leftist policies because of the parties the ANC would need to partner with, such as the MK or the EFF,” Packirisamy said. 

“Now that the vote count is sitting at 43% for the ANC, the markets kind of know that it could take on some of the smaller parties … and that would take them over the 50% mark. That is what caused the rand to come back a bit today.”

The JSE Africa All Share fell as much as 2.3% on Thursday, while banks and retail stocks slumped the most. 

“Today, we saw bond yields tapering off, retailer and bank stocks were quite flat. The recovery all depends on the election outcome,” Packirisamy said. 

Woolworths lost 7.15% of its value by close of trade, FirstRand was down 5.04%, Standard Bank shed 5.07% of its value and Nedbank was down 2.68%. 

“If we end up in a scenario where the ANC is forced to take on a larger coalition partner, then there will be a lot of uncertainty lingering in the air for longer. And you could get that rand weakness extending for a longer period of time,” Packirisamy said. 

On Thursday, the South African Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) decided to hold the repo rate at 8.25%, citing elevated uncertainty. 

Packirisamy said the MPC had not factored the elections into its decision, although a rate cut would have boosted investor confidence. 

She said it was not out of the ordinary to have an MPC meeting during elections and that it had happened in the past. 

“If we look at what the rand has typically done around elections, it tends to weaken into the election because there is political and policy uncertainty and then, just after the elections results have been calculated, you find that it strengthens.

“Only when the rand weakens for an extended period of time would the reserve bank consider it in its decision. It is not worried about a knee-jerk reaction with currencies that are reacting to the elections,” she said. 

“The market is reacting this way because we are at the preliminary stage of the vote count.” 

30/05 16:47

While we are waiting for the results trickling in have a look at these spectacular images from voting day around Johannesburg from our photographer Delwyn Verasamy

See the extended gallery here

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Diverse voters participating in the 2024 national elections captured in and around Johannesburg in the most hotly contested, with many surprises, elections in South Africa’s 30 year democracy. Delwyn Verasamy, Mail & Guardian, 29 May 2024
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Diverse voters participating in the 2024 national elections captured in and around Johannesburg in the most hotly contested, with many surprises, elections in South Africa’s 30 year democracy. Delwyn Verasamy, Mail & Guardian, 29 May 2024

30/05 13:18

Equity market sees largest drop in six weeks as early results show ANC losing votesAnathi Madubela

As early election results trickled in on Thursday, the ANC was sitting below the 50% mark of the vote share, feeding into an uncertainty about the future which appeared to rattle markets.

With 17% of the votes counted, the ruling party was at 42.9%, while the Democratic Alliance had 25.2%, the Economic Freedom Fighters 8.6% and the new uMkhonto weSizwe party had 8.08%.

Earlier on Thursday, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research said the ANC was on course to win 42% of the votes cast on Wednesday, which would be a sharp drop from 57.5% in the previous elections in 2019.

The projection shows declining support for the ANC which creates the prospect of a messy coalition government, and that is spooking financial markets, said Matete Thulare, head of foreign exchange execution at Rand Merchant Bank.
“The rand is weakening and even the bonds have been selling off,” Thulare said.

“The equity market has also dropped by 2% and that is the most it has dropped by in six weeks. Year-to-date the gains before the elections were 3.4%. There is going to be a lot of volatility ahead of the final voting outcome.

“Before the vote, the market strengthened because it expected the ANC to come back into power. But, at this point in time, nobody is expecting the ANC to win with a majority,” Thulare added.

The focus on the elections has drawn attention away from the South African Reserve Bank’s announcement later on Thursday of its latest interest rate decision.

“People have forgotten, and the market has forgotten, that we also have the [Monetary Policy Committee] meeting today and that has been overshadowed by the elections.

“They will probably keep the interest rates on hold. He will talk about the same thing of trying to manage and monitor inflation,” Thulare said.

30/05 12:36

MK party accuses the IEC of working with the ANC to rig votesUmamah Bakharia

Jacob Zumas’s uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party has slammed the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) for missteps in the electoral process that led to long queues, systems malfunctioning and power cuts at some polling stations on Wednesday.

In a statement on Thursday, the party said some of its members had apprehended individuals affiliated with the ANC allegedly in possession of ballot papers.

The MK party — which has legally tussled with the electoral commission over Zuma’s inclusion in its parliament list — said instead of focusing on running free and fair elections, the IEC had rather placed its efforts into disqualifying the former president.

“As MK party, we maintain our position that [IEC commissioner Janet] Love, acting under the influence of President [Cyril] Ramaphosa, and using the IEC, aims to skew the electoral outcome in favour of the ANC,” the statement reads.

Love said in January that Zuma’s criminal record for contempt of court in 2021 “may impede his candidacy” for parliament.

30/05 12:00

At midday on the first day of result counting we are seeing some real changes in the results with MK by far leading the pack in KZN.

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KwaZulu-Natal is the province to watch over next couple days. Some ANC leaders are already lamenting the loss of the province.

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30/05 08:13

Expected high voter turnout a nod to political parties, says IEC – Khaya Koko

Long queues at polling stations on Wednesday night appear to have dispelled what the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) called voters’ disillusionment in the country’s political system.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said on Wednesday that what appeared — anecdotally at least — to be a far higher voter turnout than the 2021 local government elections was a feather in its cap and that of political parties.

Three years ago, a paltry 45.86% of about 26 million registered voters — or just above 12 million people — cast their ballots in the local elections. This was the lowest voter turnout since South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, and the 2021 vote was the first since the 2006 local elections when the turnout was below 50%.

Read the full story by Khaya Koko here

29/05 21:40 IEC expects higher voter turnout than in 2019 elections

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) is predicting that the voter turnout in Wednesday’s general elections will be higher than the 66% in the 2019 elections.

Read the full story by Lizeka Tandwa here

29/05 19:00 WATCH LIVE: IEC issues update on progrss at voting stations

29/05 18:54 Mkhwanazi says cops will remain at hotspots in KZN until new government is announced – Lyse Comins

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi said on Wednesday that police deployed to hotspot voting stations around the province would remain in place until the new government was announced.

He was speaking during a media briefing at Hoy Park in Durban. 

Mkhwanazi said police leaders would meet IEC officials on Wednesday evening, where intelligence officers and the electoral commission would report on what happened at voting stations during the day. 

He said voting stations had been classified as either low, medium or high risk for potential political trouble.

“The majority of those areas that are classified as high risk are within the district of eThekwini. What we noticed was a stable environment and people voting … we cannot tell exactly what was happening inside the voting stations,” Mkhwanazi said.

“But by and large, we observed long queues mainly in and around Umlazi township as well as in the township of KwaMashu … but in other places it looks like the queuing was smooth. 

“We do hope that as the sun sets the majority of people will be completing their voting and as 9pm [approaches] and voting stations close we are able to have everyone out of the voting stations so we can do the counting,” he said.

Mkhwanazi said he had not received any reports of major glitches apart from one incident where an IEC official was fired for having links to a political party. 

He added that the leadership team would be fully briefed by intelligence officers and the IEC at the meeting.

“We cannot celebrate. The sun is still up and even when the sun goes down, we still have to be on high alert … We have a lot of our intelligence members on the ground moving amongst the crowd, sensing the tension and any risk that we might have to expect.” 

He said police would adjust their deployment of officers according to the intelligence reports received, which could mean a low-risk voting station being flagged as high risk, and vice versa.

“The members deployed in the northern part of the province are going to remain there until the voting has been completed and the materials are taken to a safer place before they return to the places where they come from, and the same with the deployment that came from head office,” Mkhwanazi said.

“Our operation doesn’t end after they finish the counting in KZN. It is going to continue until the announcement of the results, as well as the celebrations for those who are going to be celebrating.” 

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Picture by SAPS

He said this was being done so that KwaZulu-Natal residents would feel “comfortable”, and so that there was stability until the new government was ushered in. 

The department of correctional service’s national commissioner, Makgothi Thobakgale, who accompanied Mkhwanazi on a flight over the city, said voting had gone smoothly at Westville Prison, apart from a slight glitch with the IEC’s scanners and data access that led to voting opening at 9am. 

He added that the IEC had also resolved an issue where some prisoners’ names initially appeared not to be on the voters’ roll as registered.

29/05 18:45 Herman Mashaba: I can work with the EFF but only at local level – Aarti Bhana

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Mashaba voting, picture by Aarti Bhana

Action SA leader Herman Mashaba said he was not mad enough to work with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) at national level, but was prepared to work with the Julius Malema-led party in local government.

“I’m not the kind of person to think I can run a government that owns bakeries and has open borders and so forth,” Mashaba told journalists after joining hundreds of other citizens to cast his vote at the Sandton fire station in Johannesburg.

“I think it’s just not really possible for ActionSA to work with the EFF at the national government level, and I’ll never work with the ANC at any level of government.”

Sporting his party’s bright green regalia, the ActionSA leader said he is confident his party would stage the biggest surprise in the elections — that it would unseat the ANC from power. 

Among the voters was Godfrey Ramaboea, who said the queues were already long when he joined in the morning, but the process was a quick and enjoyable experience.

He said the most important factor for him was to have high voter numbers so that more people have influence over South Africa’s politics.

“I think for us the most difficult part is deciding who stays and who goes, but I think the easiest decision is who brings the competition, who puts pressure, and who brings rivalry to the top. We need to see people participate; we need to see more voices. People aren’t angry enough. We need to have more voices,” he said.

People of all ages and races streamed in during the early morning and joined one of three queues snaking through the area, leading to the voting booths.

Estela Ferrer was in and out of the voting station within six minutes. She said change in South Africa for her meant business and job creation and the encouragement of those who can establish businesses.

After casting his vote, Mashaba headed to Soweto to meet 96-year-old Floral Isabel Wessie, who said she had been waiting for him since 5am to accompany her to cast her vote at the Kwansikana Junior Secondary School in Orlando West.

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Mashaba at the voting station, picture by Aarti Bhana

Voters in Soweto, most of them older people, streamed into the voting station, many of them optimistic about change in South Africa after these elections.

Antoinette Mpolokeng Madibe, 65, arrived in style, riding in Thamsanqa Ndimande’s colourful tuk-tuk. Ndimande, from Soweto Experience Tours and Transfers, has been driving older people to and from voting stations free of charge.

After casting her vote, Madibe said the process was simple and seamless. She said she hoped more jobs would be created in her area.

“The South African youth are not working, and the drugs are here. If those 60,000 jobs can be taken back from undocumented foreigners and given to the local youth, we’ll cut down on the drugs. Those drug dealers must be arrested because this is too much for our country,” Madibe said.


29/05 17:30 Ramaphosa: Disrupting the work of the IEC tantamount to interfering with democracy Lunga Mzangwe

President Cyril Ramaphosa has cautioned citizens against interfering with the work of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC). 

He made the remarks shortly after he cast his vote at Hitekani Primary School in Chiawelo, Soweto, alongside first lady Tshepo Matsepe, on Wednesday. 

Ramaphosa said that the IEC had raised concerns about election interference, adding that there was an incident where police had to intervene.

The IEC issued a warning on Tuesday evening against what it called orchestrated efforts to undermine the outcome of the general elections.

Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo told journalists that law enforcement agencies had made two arrests, with police investigating two cases of interference with electoral processes.

Ramaphosa said that disrupting the work of the IEC was tantamount to interfering with democracy and subverting the will of the people.

“The will of the people of South Africa should never be obstructed or interfered with in any way or whatsoever.”

He said he had full confidence in the security cluster to deal with those seeking to disrupt the elections.  

His words echoed that of Economic Freedom Fighters president Julius Malema, who said that he was confident that law enforcement would curb any attempts to disrupt the elections. 

Residents cheered when Ramaphosa arrived at the voting station, despite long queues. 

The station was packed with elderly voters who said they had voted religiously since the dawn of South Africa’s democracy in 1994. Others were newer to the process, saying they had cast their first ballots in the 2019 elections.  

The street was abuzz with young people who were wearing ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters T-shirts. 

29/05 17:00

29/05 16:00 Songezo Zibi: Rise Mzansi is open to coalition talks – Umamah Bakharia 

Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi says the party’s door is open to coalition talks, should the other parties share similar principles.

Zibi was casting his vote in Blue Valley, Centurion, on Wednesday along with party members. Like other citizens, Zibi stood in line with his family and supporters, waiting his turn to vote.

A first-time voter, who stood in the queue for three hours, said that even though the wait was long, he was excited to vote.

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Songezo Zibi casts his first vote. Picture by Umamah Bakharia

“It is about casting that vote and it is my first time so I am just excited to be going through the whole process of practising my right as a South African,” said 24-year-old Tshiamo Seokane.

Zibi, who is optimistic about Rise Mzansi’s chances of winning a seat in parliament, said after casting his vote that the party had two objectives.

“One was to become a national organisation that is a force to be reckoned [and] two, to make sure that we have representatives in provincial legislatures in parliament to show South Africans what we are capable of.” 

The one-year-old party’s policies seem to have captured the attention of the youth, and this appears to have been illustrated by the many young people in the queue at the polling station.

Even though the IEC opened its doors an hour late in the morning, voters and party members remained calm and allowed for the process to unfold.

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Songezo Zibi at his voting station. Picture by Umamah Bakharia

29/05 14:40 Phoenix voters make their mark – Lyse Comins 

At Esselen Heights and Duffs Road primary schools in Phoenix voters joined short queues of about 50 people that moved quickly throughout the morning. 

In Westville North at Pitlochry Primary School, the queue snaked into the road from 9am as voters turned out in high numbers.

Louvan Govender, 50, who cast his ballot in Phoenix, said citizens are now more aware of corruption in the government than they had been ahead of previous general elections. 

He said the Democratic Alliance had won “many wards” in the suburb that was hard hit during the July 2021 civil unrest, but nothing had changed.

“People still fear white rule and that we will go back to apartheid oppression. Most people I know did register to vote and will be voting for a party that is multiracial and with good values,” Govender said.

Eugene Rappetti, 54, said it was encouraging to see a strong voter turnout in Phoenix.

“Normally the queues are not this long, so it is exciting that people are taking it more seriously. As we know, the country is not in a good state and we need a strong opposition. We need good governance,” he said.

“We need people who are going to have the best interests of the people at heart and also drive the economy. It is important that we create jobs and create a better state for people. At the moment we have a myriad of problems.”

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Zakhele Mncwango Action SA premier candidate with his daughters Umpilenhle & Lethinhlanhla at Pitlochry. Picture by Lyse Comins

Young people were absent from the morning queues to vote in the suburb, with most people appearing to be over the age of 40. One voter suggested that perhaps the youth were still asleep and would vote in the evening.

29/05 14:00 Voters say South African citizens are in fight mode in these elections Mandisa Ndlovu

Former president Thabo Mbeki has called for a national dialogue to address the problems in the country.  

Speaking shortly after he cast his vote at Killarney Country Club in Johannesburg, Mbeki encouraged South Africans to go out in their numbers and vote. 

“Let’s go and vote,” he said. “Then come back and discuss what to do with this South Africa that has so many problems.”

Mbeki did a U-turn when he came out to campaign for the ruling party. The former president had previously said he was reluctant to campaign for the ANC because of its lack of commitment to renew itself. 

Mbeki has also been critical of the party’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who was faced with the Phala Phala scandal last year that could have cost him his presidency. 

Mbeki said the ANC must stick to its word on what it needs to do to stabilise the country, adding that the party has an important role to play in terms of the future of the country.

The polling station was relatively quiet when Mbeki came to vote on Wednesday, apart from a scrum of journalists eager to catch him as he voted.

Former president Thabo Mbeki after casting his vote. Credits: Mandisa Ndlovu

Voters in Killarney said the process was quick and easy. First-time voters and those who have been voting since 1994 expressed their excitement about participating in the elections. 

Sixty-nine-year-old Zondiwe Xulu said she hopes the party that wins the elections will “do the right thing”.

“Even if the ANC wins again, I hope they will learn from their mistakes and do things right this time. I feel that the citizens are in fight mode now and will not allow [themselves] to be taken for a ride,” Xulu said.

First-time voter Amilia Browns said she was happy with the presence of young people at the voting stations.

“I really hope we see change going forward. That is why I also voted because you cannot sit at home and complain when you are not doing your part,” she said.

29/05 13:30 Winde quietly confident of retaining Western Cape majority – Emsie Ferreira


Western Cape Premier Alan Winde on Wednesday expressed quiet confidence that the Democratic Alliance (DA) could retain an outright majority in the province that has long been the flagship of its opposition project.

“Provided our voters come out,” he qualified.

Faced with projections of a strong showing by Gayton MacKenzie’s Patriotic Alliance (PA) in parts of the province, every effort has been made to ensure that happens. A DA call centre with a thousand staff and volunteers has spent recent days rallying supporters and, in a statement, the premier’s office cautioned: “We cannot take anything for granted today.”

At Jan van Riebeeck high school in the Gardens neighbourhood of Cape Town, a DA stronghold, voters were out in force early. Winde joined the long queue which had formed by 8am and was still towards the back, waiting his turn, an hour later.

“So nice that you’re not coming with blue lights flashing and pushing to the front,” a voter who came to shake his hand said.

Winde bristled at the thought.

He said the demographic of the Western Cape had changed considerably in recent years as the result of an annual influx of about 150 000 people but that the newcomers were likely to add to the DA’s support base.

“They have voted with their feet by coming here.” 

Winde termed the prospect of an ANC-Economic Freedom Fighters-PA pact in the province “a coalition of corruption”.

The DA retained its majority in the last national elections, however, it saw a decline from

59.38% in 2014 to 55.45% in 2019. 

The ANC and other opposition parties in the province have been working fiercely to ensure that the DA drops below 50% in the Western Cape.

29/05 13:30

Kaunda Votes
eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda voting this morning in Durban. Kaunda said he was happy with various voting stations he visited. “It shows that people understand how to entrench our democracy because we need to exercise our rights. Many people fought and died for all of us to have the right to vote,” said Mayor Kaunda before casting his vote at the Pitlochry Primary School voting station in Westville.

29/05 12:45 Check out Floyd Shivambu heading to cast his vote.

Rise Mzansi national leader Songezo Zibi casts his ballot in Centurion, Gauteng.

29/05 12:10

Ammaarah Vaizie – 25 said: “This election is significant because of what is currently happening around the world, and in recent months we have seen what true leaders mean when they stand up for humanity and there is one party that made it known where they stand with humanity and that made my vote very easy.”

29/05 11:30 Wondering what’s the best time to vote? Check out this brilliant chart by the team at The Outlier:

29/05 11:16 “Today is the day where South Africans decide the future of the country” – President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa explains why the work of the IEC is so important and should not be interefered with.

29/05 10:37 South Africans love a braai. So much so that members of the MK Party allegedly held a braai outside the entrance of the Mpushini voting district at Umbumbulu during special voting. The matter was reported to the IEC and SAPS according to ANC eThekweni’s Thanduxolo Sabelo. He said voting was delayed in the area this morning but it is now underway.


29/05 10:25 Live pictures: we’ve got some footage of some important people in the South African political space casting their vote. See who you can spot below.

Js Voting

29/05 10:10 Is there an effort to undermine the elections?

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Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo. Photo by OJ Koloti/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo told journalists on Tuesday evening that law enforcement agencies had made two arrests, with police investigating two cases of interference with electoral processes.

You can read the rest of what he said here.

29/05 10:00 D-day for political parties as South Africans decide who will govern

Millions of South Africans are expected to descend on thousands of voting stations across the country on Wednesday to cast their ballots in what has been deemed the most significant general election since 1994, in which the ANC could lose its majority for the first time.

In what could be a precursor to the main voting day on Wednesday, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) grappled with many logistical problems during the two days of special voting on Monday and Tuesday.

The IEC said voting stations and home visits totalled 22 626 on the two days, with 937 144 special voters being processed. The commission said this figure was much higher than in previous elections, and lauded the diligence of electoral staff who visited voters at residences and places of confinement.

Read more here

29/05 10:00 While we’re on the topic of the SANDF, here’s a press release from the Presidency.

The SANDF argued that according to the relevant legislation it is not lawful for civilians to live on a military base.


President Cyril Ramaphosa has informed the National Assembly that 2 828 members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be employed for service in cooperation with the South African Police Service (SAPS) for the prevention and combating of crime and for the maintenance and preservation of law and order during the National and Provincial Elections.

President Ramaphosa has informed the Acting Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces that the employment of SANDF personnel will form part of Operation PROSPER and applies from 20 May to 7 June 2024.

This employment is authorised in accordance with the provisions of Section 201(2) (a) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, read with Section 19 of the Defence Act of 2002 (Act No.42 of 2002).
The expenditure for this employment is estimated at R59,451,704.

29/05 10:00 Let us know what your voting experience is like on X @mailandguardian

We don’t care if your thumbs are crusty or perfectly manicured. Make your mark and vote.

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Image by Umamah Bakharia

28/05 18:00 Last week Richard Calland and Mike Law delivered an excellent analysis piece delving into what could happen this election season. Here’s what they wrote:

The further the ANC slips below 50%, the more permutations are on the table in the scramble to form a multi-party government. And, of course, the more vulnerable the president to the whims of change always lurking in the ANC, waiting for any sign of weakness.

So , yes, finally, change may be upon South Africa. But will the grass be any greener on the other side?

The polling numbers don’t look good for the ANC. But, historically, polling in South Africa has tended to understate the ANC’s support, especially when proper turnout modelling is factored in.

As such, our view is that the ANC is more likely to achieve a result of mid-to-high 40%. And a 50% majority still cannot be ruled out.

28/05 16:00 Still struggling to decide who to vote for, check out what socio-economic & political content creator had to say below.

28/05 15:00