South African Elections 2024: What’s At Stake?

South Africa will be heading to a general election on the 29th of May 2024 to elect a new National Assembly as well as a new provincial legislature in each of the nine provinces in the country on a five-year cycle, with national and provincial elections held simultaneously and municipal elections held after two years.

This election will be the country’s seventh democratic general election since the end of the Apartheid system in the nation. The system ended in 1994, having been a system that institutionalized racial segregation in the country , this saw most of the political , social and economical spheres controlled by the white minority at the time.

The dates of the election are set by the incumbent president and must be within 90 days of the end of the term of the current parliament in power.

However, the voters will elect 400 members of the National Assembly who in turn will vote for a head of state within 30 days of the general elections. It then becomes clear that the political party with the majority of seats in the National Assembly produces the new president of the country.

There are three main political parties that are set to take part in the upcoming elections, the African National Congress led by current president Cyril Ramaphosa , The Democratic Alliance that is led by John Steenhuisen and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) led by vibrant opposition leader Julius Malema.

Earlier on, in December 2023, former President Jacob Zuma who has gone through corruption allegations that he denied , announced that he was leaving ANC, and announced his new political party uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK). However, in March 28 2024, the electoral commission barred Zuma from vying in the general election , citing a previous criminal conviction. The decision was overturned by the Electoral court permitting Zuma to stand.

The people are expected to vote towards parties that have clear ideas on how to deal with issues that the country is grappling with at the moment.

Issues such as high unemployment rates, violent crime rates with the country , housing, the Energy crisis of late the country having undergone power cuts and blackouts with the political parties taking a stance on the issue, Immigration , Corruption and the Economy forming the major issues that need to be adressed.

For the first time ever, independent candidates will be included in the elections , with nearly 28 million South African registered voters having the chance to elect their leaders.

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