South African general election, 2019

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South African general election, 2019

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All 400 seats to the National Assembly of South Africa
201 seats needed for a majority
  2018 BRICS summit (2) cropped.jpg Mmusi Maimane (cropped).jpg Julius Malema 2011-09-14 cropped.jpg
Leader Cyril Ramaphosa Mmusi Maimane Julius Malema
Party African National Congress Democratic Alliance Economic Freedom Fighters
Last election 62.15% 22.23% 6.35%
Current seats 249 89 25
Seats needed Steady0 Increase112 Increase 176

Incumbent President

Cyril Ramaphosa
African National Congress

General elections will be held in South Africa in 2019 to elect a new National Assembly and new provincial legislatures in each province. This will be the sixth election held since the end of the apartheid system in 1994. This election will determine who will become the next President of South Africa. Incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa, the 5th President of South Africa, will lead the ruling African National Congress in the election, attempting to retain majority status and a full term in office as president; his predecessor, Jacob Zuma resigned from office on 14 February 2018 and was already ineligible for a third term in office as the South African Constitution limits a president to serve a maximum of two five-year terms.

Electoral system[edit]

South Africa has a parliamentary system of government; the National Assembly consists of 400 members elected by proportional representation with a closed list approach. Two hundred members are elected from national party lists; the other 200 are elected from provincial party lists in each of the nine provinces.[1] The President of South Africa is elected by the National Assembly after the election.[2]

The provincial legislatures, which vary in size from 30 to 80 members, are also elected by proportional representation with closed lists. The premiers of each province will be elected by the respective provincial legislatures.[1]

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.[1]

Date of election[edit]

The term of the National Assembly is 5 years. The last general election was held on 7 May 2014,[3] and the term of the National Assembly therefore ends on 6 May 2019, but the National Assembly remains competent to function from the time it is dissolved or its term expires, until the day before the first day of polling for the next National Assembly.

When the National Assembly's term expires (or if it is dissolved[4]), the President must call and set dates for an election, which must be held within 90 days of the date the National Assembly was dissolved or its term expired.[5]

Therefore if the National Assembly is not dissolved before 6 May 2019, the election must be held by 4 August 2019.

A proclamation calling and setting dates for an election may be issued before or after the expiry of the term of the National Assembly.[6]

Presidential candidates[edit]

African National Congress[edit]

The ANC held its elective conference in December 2017 where it elected the President, Deputy President, Chairperson, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Treasurer. Candidates for party president and consequently also the party's candidate for President were:

The conference elected Cyril Ramaphosa as President and David Mabuza as Deputy President.[10]

Natonal Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, Former Mpumalanga Premier, Mathews Phosa, ANC Treasurer General, Zweli Mkhize and Human Settlements Ministers, Lindiwe Sisulu, were all candidates, but later withdrew.[11]

On 14 February 2018, Zuma resigned as President of South Africa, leading Ramaphosa, as Deputy President, to succeed him as acting president and serve out the remainder of Zuma's term. Ramaphosa was elected president on 15 February 2018. Ramaphosa will thus run for a full term in office as president.

Democratic Alliance[edit]

On April 12, 2015, incumbent DA leader, Helen Zille, announced that she was not running for re-election. Mmusi Maimane and Wilmot James were seen as prominent front-runners.

At the party's 2015 Federal Congress in Port Elizabeth, Maimane was elected leader of the DA, succeeding outgoing leader Helen Zille. He defeated party chairperson Wilmot James, winning close to 90% of the vote. He was backed by prominent businessman and future Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba. He became the first black South African to lead the DA, as well as its youngest leader to date.[12][13][14]

The Democratic Alliance held its Federal Congress on the 7–8 April 2018 in Pretoria.[15] Mmusi Maimane was unopposed as leader for another term.[citation needed]

Economic Freedom Fighters[edit]

Opinion polling[edit]

Polling Organisation Fieldwork Date Sample Size ANC DA EFF Others Don't Know [a] Lead
Afrobarometer Oct 2018 1,800 48 11 11 3 28 37
IRR 22 Aug—4 Sep 2018 978 52 23 13 10 2 29
Ipsos 20 Apr—7 Jun 2018 3,738 60 13 7 2 18 47
Ipsos May 2017 3,471 47 21 5 3 24 26
2014 Election Results 7 May 2014 N/A 62.2 22.2 6.4 9.2 26.5[b] 44


  1. ^ Includes Abstention and No answer responses
  2. ^ Abstention rate


  1. ^ a b c "Election for National Assembly". ElectionGuide. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Zuma elected as President of South Africa". Sowetan Live. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  3. ^ Electoral Commission - National elections report 2014. Independent Electoral Commission, South Africa. 2014. p. 2. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  4. ^ In terms of section 50 of the Constitution.
  5. ^ Section 49(2) of the Constitution.
  6. ^ Section 49(2) of the Constitution.
  7. ^ "6 Analysts Say Cyril Ramaphosa Is Leading The ANC Race. Could They Be Wrong?". Huffington Post South Africa. 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  8. ^ Tolsi, Niren. "Road to December conference: Pandor announced as Ramaphosa's running mate". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  9. ^ Tshidi Madia (2017-02-05). "Dlamini-Zuma launches presidential campaign". News24. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  10. ^ Ndou, Clive (18 December 2017). "Ramaphosa named new ANC president". The Witness. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Maimane elected new DA leader". News24. 2015-05-10. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  13. ^ "Herman Mashaba backs Maimane". 2015-05-01. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  14. ^ Natasha Marrian (2015-05-01). "Herman Mashaba expresses support for Maimane | Politics". BDlive. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
  15. ^ "DA conference kicks-off Saturday morning". SABC News. 2018-04-07. Retrieved 2018-10-01.