Chief Electoral Officer: Sy Mamabolo

DCEO: Electoral Operations photo

Mr Sy Mamabolo is the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the Electoral Commission following his appointment in October 2017. He possesses extensive experience in electoral administration spanning almost 20 years, and is a veteran of eight elections since the advent of democracy in our country.

Mr Mamabolo served as Acting Chief Electoral Officer following the conclusion of the contract of the previous CEO in April 2017.

Prior to his present role, he served as Deputy Chief Electoral Officer of Electoral Operations for five years, during which he oversaw operations for the 2014 National and Provincial Elections and the 2016 Municipal Elections. This position entails the strategic leadership of the entire electoral programme, which involves the articulation of the legal mandate into a coherent strategic plan with its concomitant business plans. He spearheaded the legislative amendments in Parliament for both the last general elections. Before that he was Provincial Electoral Officer for Gauteng, the province which is the economic hub of South Africa.

Sy Mamabolo has extensive experience in research and public administration. He is a student of politics and hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and a Master’s Degree in Management, both from the University of the Witwatersrand. These degrees were conferred in 1995 and 2002 respectively.

His interest in public life was influenced by his early involvement in student politics and struggles of the young people in the 1980s. He has served in leadership positions in both the youth and student movement, culminating with election onto the Student Representative Council of the University of the Witwatersrand in 1993. This community involvement has inspired his commitment to transformation and social justice. 

All these roles have involved extensive interaction with stakeholders at different levels across a range of functional disciplines, including the media, political parties, security institutions, state departments and multilateral organisations, including the United Nations.

As part of his professional responsibilities he has travelled extensively on the continent as part of an endeavour to promote good governance and the conduct of credible elections. In this regard he has been to, among others, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Ghana, Liberia, Mexico, Mozambique, Panama, and Zimbabwe. He was one of the resident project managers of the South Africa’s technical assistance programme for the preparations of the 2006 Presidential and Legislative elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.