IEC is ready to print the ballot papers for 2024 elections

With the finalisation of the list of candidates contesting seats in the 2024 National and Provincial Elections (NPE2024), the Electoral Commission (IEC) can now go ahead with the printing of ballot papers for the elections.

“The 27.79 million registered voters will receive three ballot papers to elect candidates to represent them in the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures,” IEC Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sy Mamabolo said on Tuesday in Centurion.

Amendment of the Electoral Act signed in 2023

Addressing a media briefing, Mamabolo said the use of the three ballots follows the amendment of the Electoral Act. It was signed into law in April 2023.

“This amendment revised the electoral system to allow independent candidates to contest in the regional (province-to-national) tier of the National Assembly and the Provincial Legislatures. Although the phenomenon of three ballots will be familiar to voters in various local municipalities, it will be new to voters in metropolitan areas.  And for the first time in general elections for national and provinces.

“There are a total of 400 contested seats in the National Assembly. The proportional representation compensatory 200 seats will be contested by political parties only. And there is a dedicated ballot paper for this tier of the National Assembly.

“The remaining regional or province-to-national 200 seats will be contested by independent candidates and political parties. This tier of the National Assembly will also have a dedicated ballot paper,” he said.

Newly introduced ballot papers

National Assembly elections will be based on two ballot papers. These are the national ballot and the newly introduced regional or province-to-national ballot.

“Therefore, in respect of the elections of the National Assembly, voters may elect a preferred party on the national ballot. They may also elect another preferred party or independent on the regional ballot. However, in respect of provincial elections, voters will elect a preferred party or independent candidate on a single provincial ballot,” he said.

Mamabolo explained how the three ballot papers would work.

The National Ballot will consist of a list of political parties vying for seats for 200 seats in the National Assembly.

“This ballot will be used to vote for political parties. There are currently 52 parties who will be on this ballot and the configuration will be a dual column. The Regional or Province-to-National Ballots will have political parties and independent candidates.  [These will be] contesting for the seats reserved for each province in the National Assembly.

“Voters will use this ballot to elect a political party or an independent candidate to represent them in the National Assembly. The number of contestants range from 30 to 44 on regional ballots. The configuration of this ballot is a single column,” he said.

Provincial ballots

The Provincial Ballots are unique to each province. They include parties and independent candidates competing for seats in each respective provincial legislature.

“This ballot will allow voters to choose either a political party or an independent candidate to represent them in provincial legislatures. The number of contestants range from 24 to 45 on the provincial legislatures ballots,” the CEO said.

The Commission has decided that the design of the ballot papers will be underpinned by the following identifiers:

  • Full registered name of the party.
  • The photograph of the registered party leader.
  • Registered abbreviated name of the party.
  • The registered emblem or symbol of the party.

In respect of independent candidates, the ballot papers will have:

  • The name of the independent;
  • The photograph bearing the face of the independent and
  • The word “INDEPENDENT.”
Review and mark each ballot carefully

The commission has urged voters to carefully review and mark each of these three ballot papers before depositing them into the ballot box.

“Our appeal to voters is to remember that they can only put one mark on each ballot. More than one mark will result in a spoiled ballot and will not [count]. The Universal Ballot Template (UBT) is in production and will be available in all voting stations. It dimensions are benchmarked against the longest ballot paper.

“The UBT can be used by the [visually impaired] and partially sighted people and low-vision users. Also people who are dyslexic, and people with motor and neuron conditions which do not allow for a steady hand,” Mamabolo said.

Voters have been reminded that they may only vote at a voting station at which they are registered.

“[Those] who will inevitably be away from their voting districts on Election Day, 29 May 2024, may give a Section 24A notice. This is the notice of their intention to vote at another identified voting station. [It should be made] by no later than 17 May 2024,” the CEO said. 


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