Awards: 1999 National and Provincial Elections

The Electoral Commission won several international and local awards as a result of the successful planning and delivery of the 1999 elections.

Our achievements:

  • We prepared and delivered the second democratic national and provincial elections in the record time of only 13 months.
  • By international standards it was considered impossible to register the voting population of South Africa in just three months. We did it in only nine days.
  • We registered 18.4 million South Africans in 14,650 pre-delimited voting districts on the first national voters' roll - more than 80% of all eligible voters.
  • Through the use of barcode scanner technology, we were able to consolidate registration records daily and produce the first common national voter's roll within seven days of the conclusion of voter registration.
  • We created the first comprehensive and accurate Geographic Information System (GIS) in South Africa. This allowed us to complete the delimitation of South Africa into 14,650 voting districts in only nine weeks.
  • We deployed a satellite-based Wide Area Network (WAN) to 526 locations around the country in a record time of three months, which allowed us to communicate with local authorities in rural areas without telecommunications infrastructure.

In recognition of these achievements, we received the following awards:

  • Computerworld Smithsonian Award
  • National Productivity Institute Award
  • Institute of People Management Award
  • South African Logistics Society Award
  • BMF Award for Excellence
  • Institute of Management Consultants Award

These achievements would not have been possible without the participation of our technical partners, our dedicated staff, and of course the people of South Africa.

Computerworld Smithsonian Award

A Computerworld Smithsonian Award, a global honour, was presented to the IEC at a gala dinner in Washington DC in June 2000.

We had been short-listed as one of five finalists in the Government and Non-Profit Organisations category. The remaining four finalists were all American organisations, and included three government institutions.

An independent panel of judges found the IEC achievement to be among the most significant applications of information technology to society.

National Productivity Institute Award

We also became the first-ever recipient of a Platinum Award in the 1999 National Productivity Institute Awards competition, which has been held annually since 1979.

Giving reasons for the choice, the Adjudication Chairperson, Aubrey Tshalata, said the 1999 elections stood as a monument to vision, innovation, energy and determination. "Within impossibly difficult timeframes, the Electoral Commission delivered elections to the people of South Africa of which we may all be justifiably proud."

Institute of People Management Award

The IEC also received the Champions of People-Driven Growth Award of the President of the Institute of People Management (IPM) in recognition of the use of people and technology in South Africa's second democratic national and provincial elections. The IPM is the largest professional human resources organisation in South Africa, with about 9,000 professional and corporate members.

IPM President, Tlisetso Tsukudu, presented the award to the IEC at the IPM's 43rd Annual Convention President's Dinner.

IEC Chairperson, Brigalia Bam, accepted the award "on behalf of all our staff and partners in the public and private sectors, who worked tirelessly to combine their efforts with our technological solutions to make the 1999 elections a success".

Southern African Logistics Society Award

The IEC received a Special Merit Award for the logistical input required to conduct the 1999 national and provincial elections.

BMF Award for Excellence

The Black Management Forum is an independent non-governmental initiative dedicated to the development of managerial leadership amongst black people and the transformation of organisations in Southern Africa and beyond.

Following the widely acknowledged successful conduct of the 1999 national and provincial elections, the BMF honoured the IEC with an "Award for Excellence".

Institute of Management Consultants Award

In October 1999, the Institute of Management Consultants awarded Andersen Consulting, the IEC’s Information Technology partner, the award for best management consulting project for the year. This prestigious award is competed for by all management consulting organisations on an annual basis. It acknowledges excellence in the execution of a management consulting assignment and is judged on a number of acknowledged management consulting criteria.

Dr Brigalia Bam received the award on behalf of Andersen Consulting.