Independent candidates not associated with political parties will, for the first time, be allowed to contest the National and Provincial elections during South Africa's 2024 general elections.
This was made possible after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Electoral Amendment Bill into law.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which manages the country's elections, has welcomed the new law saying it provides the necessary legal certainty to allow it to start preparing for the elections scheduled for next year.
“Such certainty can only augur well for the IEC, the voting public, possible contestants, observers and other interested stakeholders,” the IEC said.
To accommodate the changes, the IEC will be reworking some of its processes including:
- Rewriting the Candidate Nomination System to facilitate the participation of independent candidates.
- Redeveloping the Results System to facilitate the recording of votes cast in favour of independents and translating them into seats where the relevant threshold is met;
- Updating platforms and mechanisms of liaison with parties to include independents;
- Reviewing the Political Party Funding legislation to include the funding of elected independents.
Ahead of each election, the IEC undertakes registration drives to register new voters and to enable already registered voters to inspect and, where necessary, update their registration details.
This drives result in updating of the voters’ roll. For this purpose, the IEC will open its network of approximately 24 000 voting stations over the weekend of 18 and 19 November 2023.
Voters may also visit the local offices of the Commission in each municipality or take advantage of the various activation campaigns that the IEC will undertake in various areas to register and update their details.
Those with access to the internet may register, inspect and update their details at any time before the proclamation of the elections by visiting www.elections.org.za.