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With less than a week to go until the 2024 South African National Elections, the energy and excitement are palpable. Everyone’s talking about it, streets are alive with colourful posters and social media platforms teem with political discourse.

If you’re finding it all a little overwhelming, we don’t think you’re alone! We all want our vote to make an impact and to use our voice in this critical moment of South Africa’s history. But cutting through all the noise, opinions and online information can be tricky. MyCandidate South Africa emerges as a beacon for voters seeking clarity and confidence in their electoral choices. Here’s more about this innovative platform.

Bridging the Information Gap

Founded during the 2021 Local Government Elections, MyCandidate South Africa, a project of Open Cities Lab, has been at work transforming voter engagement by providing easy access to comprehensive candidate information. Initially reaching over 118,000 unique users within just ten days of its launch, MyCandidate South Africa has proven its value in revolutionising how voters interact with electoral data. The platform’s influence has extended beyond South Africa, with successful deployments in Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Kenya. 

Open Cities Lab creates tools and interventions that strengthen capacity within government, empower citizens and improve trust and accountability in the civic space. Find out more about Open Cities Lab here. 

The Vision of MyCandidate South Africa

As a non-partisan, web-based platform, MyCandidate South Africa’s primary objective for the 2024 elections is to enhance voter engagement through straightforward and accessible information dissemination. It aims to empower every South African voter to make informed decisions by breaking down the barriers to critical electoral information.

Solving the Accessibility Challenge

One significant challenge that MyCandidate South Africa addresses is the cumbersome process voters face when trying to learn about candidates. Traditionally, the only way to view a list of candidates has been through lengthy and dense PDFs distributed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). MyCandidate South Africa simplifies this process tremendously. By selecting a province from a dropdown menu, users can quickly view a succinct list of candidates, with the option to conduct further research via a direct Google search link.

Key Features of MyCandidate South Africa:

  • Democratising Content: The platform ensures that all voters have equal access to essential electoral information, irrespective of their location or tech-savviness.
  • Empowering Voters: By presenting candidate profiles in a user-friendly format, MyCandidate South Africa enables voters to easily find, access, and understand who they are voting for.
  • Enhancing Engagement: The tool encourages active citizenship and participation in democracy, leading to a more engaged electorate.
  • Understanding the 3 Ballots: The site is laid out according to the 3 ballot papers voters will receive at the polls. This means they are able to research candidates in line with how they will vote on each ballot.
  • Additional Resources: Through the About page, voters can find helpful information about this year’s elections in easy to understand and quick to read articles.
  • Privacy: The MyCandidate South Africa platform does not require a log in or any of your personal information

MyCandidate South Africa stands out as a pioneering platform in the digital democracy space. It leverages modern technology to make electoral information easily accessible, thus fostering a more inclusive and informed democratic landscape in South Africa. The platform’s ability to provide clear, concise, and impartial information positions it as an indispensable tool in the democratic process. Open Cities Lab is committed to empowering voters in subsequent elections in South Africa and further abroad in other African nations.

Engaging with MyCandidate South Africa

For those looking to explore candidate options and make informed decisions, MyCandidate South Africa is just a click away. Use the hashtag #MyCandidateSA to share your experiences and stay updated on the latest electoral information. Remember, your vote is not just a right; it’s a pivotal contribution to the future of South Africa.

In a time when misinformation can cloud judgement, platforms like MyCandidate South Africa play a crucial role. They not only inform voters but also empower them to participate actively and knowledgeably in shaping the nation’s future.

Essential Tips for Voting Day

As the election day approaches, here are some practical tips to ensure a smooth voting experience:

  1. Locate Your Voting Station: Information about your designated voting station is available on the IEC website.
  2. Voting Hours: Polls are open from 7 AM to 9 PM – plan your day.
  3. Required Identification: Bring your green bar-coded ID book, smart ID card, or a valid Temporary Identity Certificate from Home Affairs. Note that a driver’s licence is not accepted.
  4. Familiarise Yourself with the Ballots: You will receive three ballots. Take a moment to understand each to ensure your vote is counted correctly. MyCandidate South Africa can assist in providing information about the candidates and parties on these ballots.
  5. Be Respectful and enjoy connecting with other South Africans: With possibly long queues, it’s essential to be patient and considerate of fellow voters. Meet new people and enjoy the company of those around you!

This election, let MyCandidate South Africa guide you through the process. Visit the site, learn about your candidates, and make a vote that reflects your values and aspirations for the country. Together, we can make a difference—one informed vote at a time.




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