Important dates: This is what the road looks like now until election day

Henry

Voter registration has been completed, the official election date is in the government Gazette announced and the provisional electoral roll was made available for inspection. The wheels are in motion for the national and provincial elections that will take place on May 29 this year.

However, quite a few things still need to happen before then and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has introduced a timeline with important dates leading up to election day.

Provisional electoral roll

Sy Mamabolo, chief electoral officer, says an electronic version of the provisional voter roll was made available at all IEC offices on Monday so that South Africans can check the voter roll and provide input.

The process is required by law.

Those who wish to object to the inclusion or exclusion of a voter on the list are requested to do so by 4 March 2024. The IEC will consider, investigate and determine all objections by 11 March 2024 before Mamabolo certifies the electoral roll on 12 March.

The electoral roll at this stage stands at 27.7 million people. However, that number may look different after the certification of the kiersersrol.

Nominations

Next on the to-do list is submitting nominations.

All independent candidates and political parties who wish to participate in the election this year have until March 8 to submit their nominations.

Political parties and independent candidates will receive feedback from the IEC by 18 March. Candidates who have not met the necessary requirements then have two days, until March 20, to make the necessary changes.

Mamabolo explained on Monday that some candidates were nominated by more than one political party in previous elections. However, the law now obliges the IEC to notify parties, should this happen.

For this reason, parties will have the opportunity this year to either remove and replace the nominated candidate, or confirm their continued candidacy. These notices will be issued on March 22 and political parties have until March 25 to submit requests for removal, replacement or confirmation of candidacy.

Provisional lists of candidates will therefore be published for inspection on 26 and 27 March.

All objections to prospective candidates must be lodged with the IEC by 27 March. The commission will decide on these objections a day later, on March 28.

Any person or political party who is not satisfied with the commission’s decision is then free to approach the electoral court. However, all appeal applications must be submitted to the court by 2 April so that the court can rule on them by 9 April.

South Africans can expect an official list of candidates by 10 April.

List of selection points

The official list of the 23 292 polling stations where South Africans can draw their crosses this year will be available for inspection from 12 April.

Special voices

Those who want to cast a special vote – to vote before the official election day – must apply for it before or on 3 May.

This includes those who are sick and confined and therefore cannot be at a polling station on election day. This also applies to those who are not in their voting districts on May 29.

Home visits and special votes will take place over two days this year: on 27 and 28 May.

South Africans who are registered to vote locally, but intend to vote abroad, have until 22 April to inform the IEC about this. An online notification facility is available for this on the election commission’s website.