- The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) conducted its inaugural Voter Registration Weekend campaign on November 19 and 20, 2023. During this campaign, 568,374 first-time registrars were successfully registered.
- Following the successful voter registration weekend campaign, the IEC has declared that it will run its second and final voter registration weekend on Saturday, 3 February, and Sunday, February 4, 2024.
- While the second voter registration weekend will be in February 2023, citizens aged 16 and older are still encouraged and invited to register to vote online through the Commission’s portal: https://registertovote.elections.org.za/voter-online-registration/overview.
- Additionally, the Electoral Commission announced that on January 26, 27, and 28, 2024, South Africans residing overseas may register at embassies, high commissions, and consulates.
Key issues surrounding the election
- In the run-up to the 2024 elections, one of the most contentious issues has been representation and the possible place and participation of independents in the National Assembly. The Constitutional Court has since made a ruling on matters attendant to this.
- On requirements to stand, the Constitutional Court overturned the requirement that independent candidates seeking to run in the 2024 provincial and national elections get the signatures of 15% of the population residing in the area they are running in. This favourable independent candidate ruling also states that instead, independent candidates will require at least 1000 signatories in their respective constituencies.
- On seat allocation, the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of the current status quo, arguing that the Electoral Amendment Act is constitutional and based on proportional representation.
- Noting the above, the Constitutional Court (CC) dismissed the Independent Candidate Association of South Africa’s (ICASA) application to alter parliament’s seating arrangement from 200 elected seats / 200 proportional seats to a 350/50 split.
- On December 2, 2023, the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs resolved that to include a larger pool of individuals with knowledge of various electoral issues, including representation, the appointment procedure for the Electoral Reform Consultation Panel needs to be reopened.
- While the pronouncement on the appointment of the panel has been delayed for some time, the portfolio committee’s resolutions suggest that we might finally see a start to work on forging meaningful electoral reform.