Electoral commission assures readiness for the upcoming 2024 national elections 

Commission confirms the electoral process will be in full swing ahead of the elections 

Sy Mamabolo, chief electoral officer for the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said that they are ready for the country’s seventh democratic national elections due to take place at the end of this month.  

Mamabolo was addressing the media on May 14, 2024, explaining that the country has reached the most crucial stage of the preparation process. 

The electoral officer explained that the voting process will start on May 16, with over 76000 registered voters based outside of the country.  After completion, “ballots will be transported through a secure channel back to the national office of the commission for counting,” explained Mamabolo.

Meanwhile, over one million special voters will have an opportunity to cast their votes two days before the general elections on May 27 and 28, 2024.  

Voters will receive three ballot papers: the national compensatory ballot which will bear the names of the political parties only, the provincial and regional ballots which will have the names of parties as well as independent candidates. Citizens will be able to make their mark on each paper.  

Mamabolo emphasised the importance of people voting where they have been registered. Those who wish to change voting districts can do so by notifying the Electoral Commission by no later than Friday, May 17, 2024. 

To ensure that every South African can participate in the electoral process, the commission said disabled people will be assisted by the South African Council for the Blind. “We have developed a voting aid which we’ll call the Universal Ballot Template (UBT) to increase chances of confidently exercising the right to vote,” said Mamabolo.  He added that the UBT “can be used by blind and partially sighted persons, persons with low visions, persons with an unsteady hand, the elderly and even people with low literacy levels.” 

According to Mamabolo, there is a “record of over 160 organisations with 5000 observers domestically and all around the world (who) will be observing South Africa’s 2024 National Elections.” This is to ensure the elections are free and fair.  

The electoral officer explained that the counting of votes will take place at each station in the presence of political parties and independent candidates’ agents as well as observers. He added ballots from the stations will only be transported after a result slip has been concluded.  

The commission will also launch the National Results Centre (ROC) on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, which will be based at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg. Furthermore, Mamabolo said the commission is in the final stages of training 202 500 voting officials, who will oversee the election process at the various voting stations.  

Registered voters can check their voting station ahead of election day by either SMSing their ID number to 32810 or by using the voting station finder application on the IEC website

ELECTIONS: OPINION: Born-frees not inspired enough to vote



FREE, NOT TO VOTE: Many ‘born-free’ South Africans are staying away from the polls in this year’s national general elections. PHOTO: File.

Although it’s only been 20 years since South Africa achieved democracy, an entire generation, known as the “born-frees” is already showing signs of political fatigue with nearly one million of them choosing not to vote.

Tomorrow, and on just one day, South Africans will take to the polls and cast their vote in this year’s national general elections but the ‘babies’ of a free South Africa are not clamouring to the polls as was anticipated.

In staying away from the polling booths, the children of democracy, who are supposed to be proud to make their mark for the first time, are effectively failing the nation. But their reasons for standing on the sidelines on such a momentous day are varied.

“I’m not voting because … I believe that regardless of who I vote for the ANC (African National Congress) will win … I feel as though it’s between the ANC and the DA (Democratic Alliance), and I don’t really mind who wins between the two,” said Dominic Dandajena, a BCom student from the University of Pretoria.

Sadly, South Africa is no longer a democratic country

A common excuse was the high levels of corruption among politicans. “They [politicians] are extremely corrupt. Especially the ruling party politicians, but nothing is being done about it,” said Mpho Mile, a student from the International Hotel School.

“Our country’s politicians are not exemplary. Most of them do not possess the qualities of a good leader and this leads to them leading the nation astray often,” says Lesego Pitsi, a performing arts student from the State Theatre, in Pretoria..

Others feel political engagement is very far down their list of priorities even though it takes just a couple of hours to cast one’s vote.

“This [degree] is important to me right now, so I am more focused on this than I am on politics,” said Gemma Cooke-Tonnesen, a BCom Accounting student at Wits.

“However, I believe I still need to take an interest in politics.” Despite this sentiment, she is not registered to vote tomorrow.

While born-frees are well aware of South Africa’s history, they would prefer to “forget about the past,” according to Zongezile Qeba, a second year chemical engineering student from Wits. This has manifested itself in the form of apathy and for many, the decision not to vote.

“Sadly, South Africa is no longer a democratic country, but rather a crazy country that continuously tosses to and fro.”

Qeba is choosing not to vote because he, like many of his generation, are not “inspired enough”.

Born-frees are special

Even though she won’t be voting, Mile believes being a ‘born-free’ means she is already privileged: “Being a born-free, I have numerous amounts of opportunities. That doesn’t mean everything will be handed to me without no effort. There are opportunities that we are given the resources to attain,” she said.

“The born-free generation represent an era of redemption, a generation that is free from all forces of apartheid,” said Pitsi.

While the small percentage of registered born-frees is worrying, these elections will have an impact on them whether or not they choose to vote. The government and leaders elected into power will ultimately set the agenda for the youth, even those who care little about politics.

Getting a degree and finding employment after school will always be a priority for young people but if there’s one thing these elections have taught the nation, it’s that an entire generation of South Africans have already moved on from the past and need issues of the present and future to be taken very seriously, very quickly.