South African general election, 2014
|Electoral wards of South Africa for the 2014 election|
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The 2014 South African general election will be held on 7 May 2014, to elect a new National Assembly as well as new provincial legislatures in each province. It will be the fifth quinquennial election held under conditions of universal adult suffrage since the end of the apartheid era in 1994.
The National Assembly consists of 400 members elected by proportional representation with a closed list approach. Two hundred members will be elected from national party lists; the other 200 will be elected from provincial party lists in each of the nine provinces. The President of South Africa will be chosen by the National Assembly after the election. The premiers of each province will be chosen by the winning majority in each provincial legislature.
The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) consists of 90 members, ten elected by each provincial legislature. The NCOP members will be elected by the provincial legislatures in proportion to the party makeup of the legislatures.
The governing African National Congress (ANC), supported by its Tripartite Alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), have held a majority of the seats in the National Assembly since 1994. They were re-elected with increasing majorities in 1999 and 2004, and with a slight fall in its majority from 69% to 65.9% in 2009. The ANC is currently led by Jacob Zuma, who in 2012 was re-elected to a second five-year term as President of the African National Congress, beating his only rival and deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe, by a wide margin. Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as Deputy President of the ANC, succeeding Motlanthe who had declined a second term after losing to Zuma.
The official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) received 16.7% of the vote in 2009, up from 12.4% in 2004. The DA is led by Helen Zille, who was re-elected unopposed as Leader of the Democratic Alliance at the party's Federal Congress in Gauteng, while Lindiwe Mazibuko continues as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. At provincial level, the DA has been in power in the Western Cape province since 2009, and came to power in several Western Cape municipalities in the 2011 municipal elections.
The third largest party, Congress of the People (COPE), is led by Mosiuoa Lekota, although the leadership is disputed by Mbhazima Shilowa who continues to battle for recognition in the High Court. The party has been riven by infighting, causing it to lose much of its support and resulting in the formation of a splinter group, the United Congress.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi remains leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) despite a challenge by former IFP chairperson Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, who went on to form the National Freedom Party (NFP) after her feud with Buthelezi. The NFP and IFP split the vote in the Zulu-dominated KwaZulu-Natal Province in the previous local government elections, both getting an even share of the vote, while the ANC continued to dominate the former IFP stronghold.
Several new parties will contest the election nationally and provincially:
- South Africa First (SAF) was formed by former members of the ANC's armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe.
- Agang South Africa was formed by anti-apartheid icon Mamphela Ramphele in 2013.
- The Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) was launched on Sharpeville Day 2013 by leaders of the independent mineworkers' strike committees that led the strikes in the mining industry in 2012, before and after the Marikana massacre, and the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM).
- Julius Malema launched his own party, the Economic Freedom Fighters which will take on a strong anti-ANC position within its ultra-left economic platform, such as calling for the expropriation of land without compensation and the nationalization of South Africa's mines and Reserve Bank.
- As a result of the infighting in COPE, the United Congress splinter group was formed, led by Mluleki George.
- The National Freedom Party (NFP) was formed by former IFP chairperson Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi.
The Independent Democrats party, which won 4 seats and 0.9% of the national vote in 2009, is set to merge with the Democratic Alliance before the 2014 general election.
On 17 December 2013, the South African Press Association reported that five opposition parties, namely COPE, the IFP, the African Christian Democratic Party, the United Christian Democratic Party and the Freedom Front Plus, had formed a coalition with 20 specific priorities. The parties in the coalition, named the Collective for Democracy (CD) and chaired by COPE leader Mosiuoa Lekota, will retain their own identity and contest the election individually. The IFP denied being part of the coalition, saying they are wary of forming such alliances given the confusion it had caused for their supporters in previous elections.
On 20 December 2013, COSATU's largest affiliate NUMSA announced that they will not endorse the ANC or any other political party in 2014. NUMSA plans to establish a new working class collective along the lines of the defunct United Democratic Front, with the ultimate goal of forming a socialist party that will contest the 2019 general election.
On 28 January 2014, the DA announced that Mamphela Ramphele had accepted an invitation to stand as its presidential candidate in the 2014 general election, and the DA and Agang South Africa were set to merge. On 31 January 2014, Ramphele stated that she would not take up DA party membership and would remain the leader of Agang South Africa, resulting in confusion. On 2 February 2014, Helen Zille stated that Ramphele had reneged on her agreement to stand as the DA's presidential candidate. Ramphele subsequently apologised for the reversal of her decision, saying that the timing was not right as the reaction to it had shown people were unable to overcome race-based party politics.
On the weekends of 9–10 November 2013 and 8–9 February 2014 all voting stations were opened for new voters to register and for those who moved residence to re-register in their new voting district. Approximately 5.5 million people in total visited voting stations, including approximately 2.3 million new voters. This increased the number of registered voters to 25.3 million, representing 80.5% of the 31.4 million people eligible to vote in the country. South Africans who were born after the 1994 general election, known as the born-free generation, and are aged 18 or older will be eligible to vote for the first time.
On 26 November 2013 the Electoral Amendment Act, 2013, came into force. It allows South African citizens resident outside South Africa to register and vote in the election of the National Assembly.
Seats in the National Assembly
|Date||Polling organisation||ANC||DA||EFF||ACDP||Agang||COPE||IFP||Others||Abstention/Don't know/No answer|
According to the results of an Ipsos survey published in February 2014, the DA is the most multi-racial party while the ANC has 96% black supporters and the EFF has 99% black supporters, relative to 76% black survey respondents. The age profile of ANC supporters closely resembles the age profile of voters, while DA supporters are slightly older overall and EFF supporters are significantly younger overall.
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