20 May 2015

National and Provincial Elections

Induction, Part 8b

1994 Ballot Paper

National and Provincial Elections

The National General Elections take place in South Africa every five years. The most recent one took place in 2014, and the previous one took place in 2009. In both cases the ANC was elected with a near 2:1 majority over all other parties, under the leadership of ANC President Jacob Zuma, who was afterwards duly elected to the Presidency of the country.

One thing that parties can do, before the election campaign starts, is to encourage voters to register. Voter registration drives are accepted as a way for parties to begin work, without officially campaigning.

The National and Provincial representatives, both to Parliament and to Provincial Legislatures, are elected by a fully Proportional Representation (PR) system. Each party has a list of candidates. When the votes have all been counted, the proportion received by each party is calculated, and members taken from each party list, in proportion to the votes cast for those parties.

Subsequently, if Members of Parliament (MPs), or Members of Provincial Legislatures (MPLs) cease for any reason to be such, they are replaced by others selected by that party.

Page from an IEC comic used in the 2009 national elections

This system is unlike the “First Past the Post” system of representation that is used in many other countries, where members are elected by each constituency on the basis of a simple majority in that constituency.

The SACP does not in principle reject the idea of standing candidates for elections, and it used to do so, as the CPSA, before it was banned in 1950. Since 1994 the SACP has not contested any elections at National, Provincial or Municipal level. SACP members are individual members of the ANC and many of them have been chosen at different levels to represent the ANC.

·        The above is to introduce an original reading-text: Independent Electoral Commission, How do I register?


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