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Record 48 parties on the ballot paper for national elections in SA

An Independent Electoral Commission official marks a voters thumb.
An Independent Electoral Commission official marks a voters thumb.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Mohau Mofokeng

South Africans will get to choose from a record 48 parties for the national elections on May 8. 

The Independent Electoral Commissions’s (IEC) chief electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, announced on Wednesday that there are 19 more political parties contesting the 2019 national elections than there were in the last elections in 2014. 

In provincial elections, Gauteng is the most contested, with 36 parties on the ballot paper, he said. 

Mamabolo said the Northern Cape has the least number of political parties contesting, with just 21 vying for votes there. 

“We will be printing over 50 million ballot papers, using about 40 tons of paper, and the ballot production process will take about 14 days” he said. 

Speaking at an electoral code of conduct signing ceremony in Johannesburg, Mamabolo announced that there are more than 26,700,000 registered voters, with more women registered to vote, at 55%. 

He said there has been an increase in voters under the age of 29, representing 21% of the voters roll. 

“Applications to vote abroad have been finalised and will see 39,334 voters cast their ballot on the 27th of April at South Africa’s 131 foreign missions around the world,” Mamabolo said, adding that it’s a 10% increase compared to 2014. 

Most of the voting abroad is expected to take place at South Africa’s mission in London.

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