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3 Ballots = 3 Votes

With amendments to the Electoral Act, which allow for independent candidates to stand, significant changes have been made to the electoral process.


In previous elections, voters received two ballots – one for the National Assembly (Parliament) and another for the Provincial Legislature.

The 2024 elections will see voters receiving three ballots at their voting stations:


National Ballot: Voters will select a political party of their choice for representation in the National Assembly. This ballot will be the same country wide.


Regional Ballot: This ballot is new. Voters will select either an independent candidate or a political party of their choice for representation in the National Assembly. This ballot is specific to each province and is designated for the selection of independent candidates or political parties to fill the regional seats reserved in Parliament for that particular region. Regions share the same geographical boundaries as provinces, and the number of seats reserved for each region will be determined by the Independent Electoral Commission before every national and provincial election, based on the registered voter proportionality of the region.


Provincial Ballot: This ballot allows voters to choose independent candidates or political parties for representation in the Provincial Legislatures. This ballot is specific to each province.


The amendments to the Electoral Act preserve the two-tier multimember compensatory proportional system, ensuring no change to South Africa's electoral system. The National Assembly retains its maximum of 400 seats, divided as follows:


  • 200 compensatory seats reserved for the National list (to be contested only by political parties).

  • Remaining 200 seats are divided amongst the nine regions, contested by parties and independent candidates.


In national elections, independent candidates will contest the 200 regional seats alongside political parties. The other 200 seats will ensure general proportionality for political parties, where the total votes for a party in a region determine the number of seats they hold.

For example a voter in the Western Cape can choose to vote for a party of their choice on the National Ballot, for an independent candidate such as Zackie Achmat on the Regional Ballot and for another party on the Western Cape Provincial Ballot. 


With the inclusion of independent candidates and the introduction of regional ballots, it is important that we all spread the word about how the ballots will work, so that all voters can make an informed choice.

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