Election Report: 2014 National and Provincial Elections

Election Report: 2014 National and Provincial Elections

Overview

The Electoral Commission is proud to present the 2014 National and Provincial Elections Report as required in terms of section 14(3) of the Electoral Commission Act, Act No. 51 of 1996. These elections took place on 7 May 2014, in the year during which South Africans celebrated 20 years of democracy. The 2014 elections were also the fourth national and provincial elections since the establishment of the Electoral Commission in 1997.

South Africans went to the polls in 2014 with great expectations that the Electoral Commission would deliver credible, free and fair elections. The Commission put systems in place to ensure that these expectations were fully met. First, in preparation for these elections, the Commission registered two million new voters, increasing the voters’ roll to a record 25 million people. Many of those new voters were born after the 1994 elections and they could exercise their right to vote for the first time. The voter turnout of just above 70% was a clear testimony of the passion South Africans have for their democracy.

South Africa’s constitutional democracy has progressed remarkably during the last 20 years. The enthusiasm with which multi-partyism is being embraced in South Africa is a noteworthy development. A total of 45 political parties participated in the 2014 national and provincial elections, compared to the 40 that participated in the fourth democratic elections in 2009.

Political parties play an important role in nurturing our democracy and the Commission takes this role very seriously. The degree of maturity shown by political parties in these elections is commendable. Despite pockets of instability in certain communities, political parties adhered as much as possible to the code of conduct requirements for promoting free campaigning and tolerance. Consequently, there were no significant no-go areas in terms of campaigns and voting during the 2014 national and provincial elections.

To ensure that voters’ needs were met at the voting stations, approximately 200 000 electoral staff members were deployed at over 22 000 voting stations across the country. The electoral staff completed various training modules about voting to ensure that the voting process at the voting stations and during home visits for special votes was as efficient and professional as possible.

Election observation is one of the key elements to ensure the credibility, freeness and fairness of an election. The role of civil society organisations during these elections cannot be overstated. Election observation is one of the areas in which these organisations participated with enthusiasm. A total of 68 organisations were accredited to observe these elections and were represented by more than 4 000 people at ground level. This sector further participated in conflict management and voter education programmes.

The Electoral Commission continues to enjoy sound relationships and collaboration with other countries’ election management bodies, both on the continent and abroad. During the 2014 national and provincial elections, the Electoral Commission received observer delegations from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Electoral Commissions Forum of the Southern African Development Community (ECF-SADC), the African Union, the Commonwealth and various international non-governmental organisations.

We would like to thank the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other security agencies for providing security for voters, our staff and electoral material during these elections. We would also like to thank the Department of Home Affairs for going out of its way to ensure that South Africans obtained identity documents, which were essential in the voting process. This report details the Electoral Commission’s efforts to ensure that the 2014 national and provincial elections were a success.

Mr Terry Tselane
Vice-chairperson