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South African general election, 2019

General elections will be held in South Africa in 2019 to elect a new National Assembly and new provincial legislatures in each province. They will be the sixth elections held since the end of the apartheid system in 1994, and the second election held since the death of Nelson Mandela. This election will result in the selection of the next President of South Africa. Incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa, the 5th President of South Africa, will lead the ruling African National Congress in the election to retain majority status and a full term in office as president; his predecessor, Jacob Zuma resigned from office on 14 February 2018 and was already ineligible for a third term in office as the South African Constitution limits a president to serve a maximum of two five-year terms.

South African general election, 2019
South Africa
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All 400 seats to the National Assembly of South Africa
  Cyril Ramaphosa 2015.jpg Mmusi Maimane (cropped).jpg Julius Malema 2011-09-14 cropped.jpg
Leader Cyril Ramaphosa Mmusi Maimane Julius Malema
Party African National Congress Democratic Alliance Economic Freedom Fighters
Last election 62.15% 22.23% 6.35%
Current seats 249 89 25

Incumbent President

Cyril Ramaphosa
African National Congress


Lead up to the electionEdit

Jacob Zuma was re-elected to a second five year term in 2014 and is ineligible to stand for re-election as State President. Following a cabinet reshuffle in March 2017 and the country's subsequent downgrade by international investment firms, hundreds of thousands of South Africans marched across the country demanding President Zuma's resignation. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa kicked off his own presidential campaign on April 22, 2017 alongside former Deputy Finance Minister Mcibisi Jonas. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the ex-wife of Jacob Zuma appeared at several ANC Women's League events and is expected to announce her candidacy in the coming months in the run up to the 2017 ANC elective conference. Ramaphosa is believed to be aligned to the Anti-Zuma faction in the ANC, while Dlamini Zuma is expected to be endorsed by most of the pro-Zuma members of the ANC. The ANC Women's League announced its endorsement of Dlamini Zuma while COSATU announced it would support Ramaphosa.[1]

Following the South African municipal elections, 2016, the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters announced coalition agreements across the country. In particular the cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay giving rise to the serious possibility of national coalitions in the future. The DA achieved its best local electoral performance so far, while the EFF, contesting its first local government election, improved on its performance in the 2014 general election. The local polls were widely seen a turning point in the political landscape of South Africa, as the dominance of the ANC was greatly diminished while coalition and minority governments became more widespread.[2][3]

Ramaphosa has called for a judicial inquiry into state capture while Dlamini Zuma has based her campaign around economic transformation.[4]

On March 20, 2017 it was announced that a new political lobby group, the Freedom Movement (FM)[5] would be formed in opposition to Jacob Zuma and the ANC. The Freedom Movement was announced at the Hector Pietersen Memorial museum. It consists of the Democratic Alliance, United Democratic Movement, Congress of the People, Inkatha Freedom Party, African Christian Democratic Party, and the Economic Freedom Fighters. Union federation Fedusa and Solidarity joined the formation. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu voiced his support on Twitter.

In June 2017, the South African Press alongside the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism released thousands of emails linking the Gupta family to state capture and mass corruption including President Zuma, his son Duduzane and senior leaders in government and the ANC. As a result, the Acting Head of the Hawks Lt-Gen Yolisa Matakata has instituted an inquiry on the leaking of thousands e-mails between members of the Gupta family and their associates. The leaks also uncovered an attempt by U.K. based PR firm, Bell-Pottinger to stir racial tension in the country on behalf of the Zuma government.[6]

Electoral systemEdit

South Africa has a parliamentary system of government; the National Assembly consists of 400 members elected by proportional representation with a closed list approach. Two hundred members are elected from national party lists; the other 200 are elected from provincial party lists in each of the nine provinces.[7] The President of South Africa is elected by the National Assembly after the election.[8]

The provincial legislatures, which vary in size from 30 to 80 members, are also elected by proportional representation with closed lists. The premiers of each province will be elected by the respective provincial legislatures.[7]

The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) consists of 90 members, ten elected by each provincial legislature. The NCOP members will be elected by the provincial legislatures in proportion to the party makeup of the legislatures.[7]

Presidential candidatesEdit

African National CongressEdit

The ANC held its elective conference in December 2017 where it elected the President, Deputy President, Chairperson, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Treasurer. Candidates for party president and consequently also the party's candidate for President were:

The conference elected Cyril Ramaphosa as president and David Mabuza as deputy president.[12]

On 14 February 2018, Zuma resigned as President of South Africa, leading Ramaphosa, as Deputy President, to succeed him as acting president and serve out the remainder of Zuma's term. Ramaphosa was elected president on 15 February 2018. Ramaphosa will thus run for a full term in office as president.

Democratic AllianceEdit

The national conference of the Democratic Alliance is set to take place early in 2018.[13] Likely candidates for party leader and consequently also the party's candidate for President are:

Economic Freedom FightersEdit

Opinion pollingEdit

Date Polling organisation ANC DA EFF Others Abstention/Don't know/No answer
May 2017[14] Ipsos 47% 21% 5% 3% 24%


  1. ^ "These could be the next leaders of the ANC". 2017-01-13. Retrieved 2017-06-06. 
  2. ^ "South Africa has broken the post-colonial narrative. It's a thrilling turning point". The Guardian. 2016-08-06. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 
  3. ^ "Political parties will have to adjust to many more coalitions". Times Live. 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2016-09-04. 
  4. ^ Derrick Spies (2017-04-23). "Ramaphosa 'launches' campaign with attack on Zuma, Guptas". News24. Retrieved 2017-06-06. 
  5. ^ Genevieve Quintal (2017-04-20). "New lobby group Freedom Movement unites against Jacob Zuma". 
  6. ^ Genevieve Quintal (2017-06-05). "SUNDAY TIMES - Hawks confirm inquiry into leaked Gupta e-mails". Retrieved 2017-06-06. 
  7. ^ a b c "Election for National Assembly". ElectionGuide. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Zuma elected as President of South Africa". Sowetan Live. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "6 Analysts Say Cyril Ramaphosa Is Leading The ANC Race. Could They Be Wrong?". Huffington Post South Africa. 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2017-11-15. 
  10. ^ Tolsi, Niren. "Road to December conference: Pandor announced as Ramaphosa's running mate". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2017-11-15. 
  11. ^ Tshidi Madia (2017-02-05). "Dlamini-Zuma launches presidential campaign". News24. Retrieved 2017-06-06. 
  12. ^ Ndou, Clive (18 December 2017). "Ramaphosa named new ANC president". The Witness. Retrieved 19 December 2017. 
  13. ^ DA set for
  14. ^ "Ipsos Poll: Voters uncertain pre-2019". Ipsos. Retrieved 11 January 2018.