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Save the date – President Cyril Ramaphosa announces SA’s election day

Save the date – President Cyril Ramaphosa announces SA’s election day
Illustrative image: (Photos: Lihlumelo Toyana | Supplied | Alet Pretorius)

Mark it on your calendar now and get ready to have your say – President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the date for the 2024 national and provincial elections.

South Africans will go to the polls in the national and provincial elections of 2024 on Wednesday, 29 May.

Read in Daily Maverick: 2024 Elections Knowledge Base

The election date was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday night. The date will now officially be proclaimed in the Government Gazette. Once the date is proclaimed, voter registration will also be closed. 

“Beyond the fulfilment of our constitutional obligation, these upcoming elections are also a celebration of our democratic journey and a determination of the future that we all desire. I call on all South Africans to exercise their democratic right to vote and for those who will be campaigning to do so peacefully, within the full observance of the law. We also urge unregistered voters to use the online registration platform to register,” said President Ramaphosa. 

Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya had previously said Ramaphosa would announce the date for election date within 15 days of delivering his State of the Nation Address on 8 February. 

According to a statement issued by the Presidency: “President Cyril Ramaphosa has, in accordance with section 49(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, read with section 17 of the Electoral act of 1998, determined 29 May 2024, as the date for the 2024 General National and Provincial elections. 

“The President has, also in line with section 17(2) of the Electoral act 73 of 1998, consulted with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on the election date. Furthermore, the President convened a meeting with all 9 Provincial Premiers and the IEC to discuss the state of readiness for the General elections.

“The 2024 elections coincide with South Africa’s celebration of 30 years of freedom and democracy. Therefore, President Ramaphosa calls on all eligible voters to fully participate in this important and historic milestone of our democratic calendar.”

More than 27 million people are registered to vote, the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said after the IEC wrapped up its final registration weekend in February. In the 2019 national elections, 26.75 million people registered to vote, Daily Maverick’s Ferial Haffajee reported

It is in the ANC’s interest to have the election held sooner rather than later, as it favours the incumbent, giving newcomers less time to campaign.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Everything you need to know about South Africa’s ‘watershed’ polls and what happens afterwards

The IEC will now ramp up its work to prepare the election logistics. This means compiling the ballot papers, and securing enough election materials, from ballot boxes to pens and power alternatives to ensure that load shedding doesn’t undermine voting. DM

Also in Daily Maverick: Live updates – Finance Minister delivers Budget 2024


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Jan Vos says:

    What is the point in voting? They’re nothing but a bunch of corrupt, incompetent clowns. ALL of them, in every party. NOTHING will change.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      Sorry Jan, they were referring to our elections, not the Biden-Trump or Sunak-Starmer fiascos that’ll unfold this year. Maybe take a closer look at some of the newer parties and their manifestos before sinking into the abyss. Hell, we really need something to change!

    • B M says:

      This is a case of learned helplessness. Change starts with action. One of the actions available to all of us is the opportunity to vote.

      Politicians will be politicians. They will promise, and only some will deliver. This we cannot control. What we do have agency in, is our own actions.

    • Christopher Bedford says:

      Well that’s a great way to get things to change: throw your hands in the air and whine.

      • Philip Wernberg says:

        By not voting you will leave the current useless government in power to continue to destroy South Africa. Also by non participation you have no right to complain anymore. Look at the party that is successfully managing municipalities and not coalitions. (eg WC) Let us build a winning SA, we achieved it in the rugby world cup against all odds.

    • George 007 says:

      What it the point of NOT voting?

    • Egmont Rohwer says:

      That is exactly what the ComRAIDS are waiting for. A vote less against them is the same as a vote for them. Get off your lazy butt and vote.

    • Greeff Kotzé says:

      One way to look at it is that, if you skipped voting in 2019, your one (potential) vote was allocated on your behalf, roughly, as follows:
      ⅗ to the ANC
      ⅕ to the DA
      ⅒ to the EFF
      ¹⁄₃₀ to the IFP
      ¹⁄₄₀ to the FF+
      ¹⁄₂₄ to the rest
      The various represented parties (and their MPs’ salaries) were funded from taxes by more or less the same ratio.

      So will you decide to give one WHOLE vote to the least-worst option this time around, or will you let others speak for you again?

      • Skinyela Skinyela says:

        Where do you get this idea that the ‘votes’ of those who do not bother to vote het allocated proportionally to all political parties?

        Or you are using this as hypothesis?

        • Greeff Kotzé says:

          It’s hypothetical, yes, since they don’t go to the effort of actually doing this, but it is also the practical outcome — since there is no difference between not counting the vote at all, and apportioning the vote, in our proportional representation system.

          Let’s call it an illustration of the opportunity cost of not using one’s vote to express an actual preference.

      • Kevin Venter says:

        What a steaming pile of horse manure. If you don’t participate in the election, that does not mean that your (potential) vote is then allocated to another party. It just means that the voter base is reduced, which means that the percentage of voter support for the parties where voters actually turned up, increases. Even if every single white, coloured and Indian person who is old enough to vote, turn up on the day and vote for the DA, that is only 18% of the population. What is needed is a far greater number of the existing ANC and EFF support to change their vote. Do you think that is going to happen? The DA is seen as a white mans party and hence will not get any majority of support from current ANC supporters. Nope, the only thing that is seemingly going to happen is that the ANC supporters are NOT going to turn up on the day making the ANC lose their majority and ceding more of the vote to EFF and MK. All that will come of that is the need to then form a coalition government, which in my opinion is even worse because there is going to be constant inter party bickering and politicking and even less is going to get done, than what is currently done (if that is possible). Don’t mean to be negative here but just look at every other African country North of the borders and go back in history a few decades and see what happens after colonial rule ends and the timeline that goes with it before it all goes to shite.

        • Roelf Pretorius says:

          Don’t forget about the newcomers on the electoral scene – BOSA (Mmusi Maimane, he is very well known and got quite decent support for the DA while he was there), RiseMzansi, ActionSA, Change Starts Now – and even the independents. And the EFF has the same problem as the DA and ANC, namely that they have misused their powers and got exposed too many times and informed voters don’t trust them any more as a result. There are also many other political parties that were registered and one of them may well be what you need to represent what you believe. So don’t see the election as a threat; use the opportunity to make your voice heard.

    • Paddy Ross says:

      Try casting your vote for the party that demonstrates that it can deliver service delivery.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      It’s unfortunate that I feel the same way Jan but every vote counts so they say but none of the parties are giving something to look forward to.
      Except the people who survive on promises and hope.

    • William H says:

      It’s basic maths, Jan. For example, if there are 10 registered voters and all of them vote, with 5 intending to vote for the ANC and 1 (like you, hopefully) intending to vote for “Other Party”, then the ANC will get 50% of the votes. If you’re the only one who doesn’t vote, the ANC gets 5/9 (56%) of the votes. Obviously this scales differently for larger numbers, but the principle remains exactly the same. So you need to vote, Jan.

  • Willem Boshoff says:

    29 May 2024 the ANC is being put out to pasture. We will be facing stark choices however: rapid decline and total collapse under an ANC/EFF coalition or bouncing off the bottom onto a long road to recovery under the Multi-Party Charter? If you care about this country you have the responsibility to vote; don’t waste it. Despite our misgivings and cynicism, there are some viable options.

    • Johannes Conradie says:


      • Francois Smith says:

        A Eligible voters can still register, please get the people in your neighborhood to register, sommer online.
        In the traditional non – ANC districts, get all the people that are registered to the voting booth! If all the people that voted against the ANC in 2014 and didn’t bother to vote in 2019, go and vote against the ANC, it will be a huge step towards getting the ANC to at least far enough down below 50 that they cannot rule with only De Lille and Al Jamaah.

        • Skinyela Skinyela says:

          So you’ll rather they form a coalition with EFF and MK Party, than with De Lille and Al Jamaah?

          • Willem Boshoff says:

            If the ANC drops to the low 40% the only simple coalitions that will get them over the line is either with the EFF or DA; I think it more likely that they will cut a deal with the EFF but who knows. Either way, the Multi-Party Charter is a realistic and hopeful option.

    • Skinyela Skinyela says:

      Well Willem, even if the ANC were to drop to exactly 40% that would not mean that she can only form a government with either the DA or EFF.
      they will need about 10%+ from other parties, let just use 11% for the sake of simplicity, so 40%+11%=51%…the remaining 49% is not only going to the DA and EFF.

      DA won’t get more than 25% and
      the EFF will not get more than 20%, so even if the rest of the votes will go to the other ‘moonshot’ pact parties there is no guarantee that they will not form a coalition government with the ANC… A pre-election pact, and even a coalition agreement that was freely(not at gunpoint) negotiated and duly signed, is not legally binding.

      Just lower your hopes, and most importantly, manage your fears.

      • Kevin Venter says:

        Spot on. The only trouble with multi-party charter and coalition government is that there will be so much disagreement on every single topic that nothing is going to get done. You could argue that nothing or very little is currently being done but I think that will pale in comparison. In my opinion, it is going to get a lot worse before it ever gets better, if it ever even gets better.

  • Dennis Bailey says:

    Not voting is a betrayal of the struggle for democracy and a lazy way out of responsibility for the future. It’s the only legacy we can bequeath our children. Please use it. Wisely.

  • Agf Agf says:

    Can anyone explain why elections in South Africa are always held on a Wednesday?

    • David Walker says:

      People are less likely to be drunk on a Wednesday, and they can’t go off on holiday for a long weekend.

      • Agf Agf says:

        But prior to 1994 it was also on a Wednesday and was never a public holiday so one had to go to work and “pop out” to go and vote, or vote early morning or in the evening.

        • Skinyela Skinyela says:

          Have you considered the fact that it was logistically possible because it was only a small portion of the voting-age population who had a right to vote?
          Imagine standing on a long-snaking queue at 06:00(before the voting station opens) waiting for your turn to cast the
          vote while you have to be at work by 08:00, or coming back from work at 18:00 and tired but you still have to queue for about 3 hours minimum at a voting station before you go home!?

          Try make the election day a normal business day and see voter turnout moving from bad to worse.

          • Greeff Kotzé says:

            And that’s not even counting the fact that many people have a 1 to 2-hour commute in each direction.

        • Agf Agf says:

          I’m not for one minute suggesting that it should be held on a normal working day. I’m suggesting that it should be held on a Sunday so that the poor old SA economy does not lose out on a working day in the middle of the week.

  • Caroline de Braganza says:

    I’m ready and registered. Please everybody cast your vote – our future depends on it.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    Have the Election before loadshedding ramps up…..makes sense!

  • Johan Buys says:

    So 29 May is National Intelligence Test day. Pity about the state of education in SA

  • Trevor Gary Schwabe says:

    Failing to cast your vote in the upcoming election – is failing yourself, failing your fellow citizens and failing your country! AND THIS is exactly what the ANC has done year after year! FAILED THE COUNTRY – FAILED THE CITIZENS. Don’t give this helpless incompetent government another term to bring South Africa to its knees! GET OFF YOUR BUMS AND VOTE!! ITS YOUR CHANCE TO CHANGE OUR DIRECTION.

  • Angela Heywood says:

    Those who don’t vote cannot complain after the election about results being “rigged, whatever”. Vote and get rid of the current dirty, corrupt lying thieving crooked lot.
    Even if this means that they get less than the 50% majority. Just that alone is better than what we currently have.
    Just saying. MUST VOTE

    • Greeff Kotzé says:

      Yes, and even for the supreme sceptics, there can be something to aim for:

      Because each seat in Parliament lost by the so-called ruling party would be one less “benchwarmer” who refuses to hold the executive branch to account.

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