Tag Archive for: National Assembly

Written by Quintin Coetzee

On the 8th of May 2019, South Africans went to the polls for the country’s sixth peaceful general election. Over 17.6 million citizens voted; a turnout of just under 66% of eligible voters. Votes were cast across over 22,000 districts, with 48 parties (19 more than during the 2014 election) contesting seats across South Africa’s 9 provinces.

235,472 people spoiled their ballots. While some of these were possibly accidental, a number of South Africans also intentionally spoil at the polls, in order to, for example, express disillusionment towards the electoral process, or dissatisfaction with all the available political parties. Spoiled ballots made up 1.33% of total votes cast.

International and Special votes

Over 29,300 South Africans registered to participate in the national election in the international voting phase, which took place at 120 international voting stations on 27 April 2019. The overseas ballots will be counted along with the domestic votes on 8 May 2019.

The local special vote phase of the election took place from 6-7 May 2019, accommodating South Africans who are physically infirm, disabled or pregnant or are unable to vote at their voting station on the polling day. More than 770,000 voters had registered for special votes.

How the elections work

South Africa has a parliamentary system of government; the National Assembly consists of 400 members elected by closed list proportional representation. Two hundred members are elected from national party lists; the other 200 are elected from provincial party lists in each of the nine provinces. The largest remainder method and the Droop quota are used to allocate seats at both the provincial and national level, with the national list seats allocated by subtracting seats won at the provincial level from a party’s allocated total seats to give a more proportional result. The President of South Africa is elected by the National Assembly after the election.

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.

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.

2019 results

Below is a results table for all parties that received 10,000 votes or more, published after 100% of the votes cast were counted, by South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Parliament will see a record number of 14 parties represented when the National Assembly convenes next week for the first time after the election. Until now, 13 parties have held seats in Parliament, but some did not attract enough votes to secure their return, such as the African People’s Convention, and Agang SA.

The National Assembly election was won by the ruling African National Congress (ANC), but with a reduced majority of 57.50%, down from 62.15% in the 2014 election. This was also the ANC’s lowest vote share since the election after the end of apartheid in 1994. The Democratic Alliance (DA) remains the official opposition, and declined from 22.23% to 20.77%, while the Economic Freedom Fighters significantly grew, going from 6.35% to 10.79%. The Freedom Front Plus also grew from 0.9% to 2.38%, which was its highest vote share since 1994.

Eight of the nine provincial legislatures were won by the ANC. The EFF retained its position as official opposition in Limpopo and the North West, while simultaneously beating the Democratic Alliance to second place in Mpumalanga. The DA obtained a second place in five provinces won by the ANC. In KwaZulu-Natal, the Inkatha Freedom Party beat the DA to second place for the first time since 2014 and grew to 3.38% on a national level. In the Western Cape, the only province not won by the ANC, the DA declined from 59.38% to 55.45%.

Seats in the National Assembly after the 2019 election. Red circles are EFF; green circles are ANC; blue circles are DA; gray circles are other parties.

The next South African general election will take place in 2024.

More information

To view the final results and other information about the election on the IEC website, click here.


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Sources: [1], [2], [3]. Image sources: [1], [2], [3].

South African National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has announced that the State of the Nation Address has been postponed. The Address was scheduled to take place on 8 February, but was cancelled due to the current political climate.

Mbete added that as Parliament was preparing to write to President Jacob Zuma to request the postponement of his address, he was already doing the same.

Zuma has confirmed that he wrote to the Parliament’s presiding officers to request a postponement of the State of the Nation Address. In a statement issued earlier today‚ Zuma said only that the request was “due to certain developments” that made delivering the SONA untenable.

The postponement comes after days of debate between South Africa’s major political parties as to the future of President Zuma. Major opposition parties, and many within the President’s party – the ANC – have united in their request for the President to voluntarily resign before the State of the Nation Address, so that it may be delivered by the ANC’s new President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Zuma potentially faces a motion of no confidence from his own party, as well potentially facing hundreds of corruption charges. Decisions about both are to be made in the coming weeks. Zuma has stated that he will only resign if the ANC’s top leadership tells him to. The ANC’s National Executive Committee will convene on 7 February to discuss the President’s fate.

This is the first time that the State of the Nation Address has been postponed. Speaker Mbete has stated that the SONA postponement decision was taken in the best interests of the country, and that a new SONA date will be set as soon as possible.


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Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image source: [1].

Written by Quintin Coetzee

Patricia de Lille has a long history of being active in South African politics, but her more recent years, as Mayor of Cape Town, South Africa’s fourth-largest city, and the country’s legislative capital, haven’t been too kind to her.

Born in Beaufort West, in the Western Cape, she became involved with the South African Chemical Workers Union during her first job as a laboratory technician, eventually becoming the Union’s regional secretary, and then National Executive Member in 1983.

In 1988, she was elected as National Vice-President of The National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU), the highest position for a woman in the trade union movement at the time.

In 1989, de Lille was elected onto the National Executive Committee of the Pan Africanist Movement (PAM). In 1994, she led a delegation in the constitutional negotiations that preceded South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994, and was then appointed the position as Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, a position she held from 1994 to 1999. She also served on various portfolio Committees including Health, Minerals and Energy, Trade and Industry, Communications, the Rules Committee, and the Code of Ethics.

de Lille led the call for an investigation into alleged corruption in the South African Arms Deal, an effort that garnered her a great deal of respect amongst South African citizens. She said she was, however, accused by some of being unpatriotic and embarrassing the country as a consequence of her efforts to investigate the Arms Deal.

In June 2003, de Lille founded the Independent Democrats (ID), a South African political party that held 7 seats in the country’s National Assembly after the 2004 general elections, and 4 seats after the 2009 general election, as well as gained 2% of the votes cast during the 2006 municipal elections.

The ID positioned itself in the center of the South African political spectrum, espousing a conservative liberalist ideology. The party stated that, if elected to power, it would focus on combating crime, makeing South Africa a leader in renewable energy, and financing a minimum social grant by taxing luxury goods, tobacco, and alcohol.

Logo of the now-disbanded Independent Democrats

In 2010, de Lille formed an agreement to merge with the country’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, into which the ID was absorbed. The deal was made in partnership Helen Zille, then-DA leader, and current Premier of the Western Cape. As a result, the ID did not contest the 2011 local elections as a separate entity, instead fielding its candidates on the DA’s ballots. In February 2012 then-DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko reshuffled her shadow cabinet, which included appointing members of the ID to shadow portfolios for the first time. This was seen as a move towards strengthening the cooperation between the two parties, heading towards the completion of the merger, which occurred in 2014, when the ID officially disbanded as a separate political organization.

During her time as leader of the ID, de Lille also served as Minister for Social Development of the Western Cape, from 2010 to 2011.

In mid-2011, de Lille succeeded DA member Dan Plato and was appointed Mayor of the City of Cape Town, a position she still holds.

In recent months, de Lille has come under fire for potential misconduct, amidst a broad investigation into numerous of Cape Town’s management executives. The independent investigation, conducted by law firm Bowman Gilfillan, is focused in part on irregularities relating to the ongoing Foreshore Freeway project’s tender process,. The project is aimed at revitalizing a section of the city’s Central Business District and easing traffic flow. Cape Town has the worst traffic in South Africa, and, according to the latest TomTom traffic index statistics, is the 48th worst city for traffic in the world.

After numerous DA party members asked de Lille to resign, the DA’s Federal Executive reviewed feedback from the Mayor as to why she believes she should remain in her position, and decided to charge her with alleged misconduct. The Mayor will be investigated by the DA’s Federal Legal Commission, to which she will be afforded an opportunity to present her case.

Although de Lille will remain in her position, the duties to handle Cape Town’s drought will, if the DA’s Cape Town caucus passes a resolution, be deferred to deputy mayor Ian Neilson and Mayoral Committee member for water, informal settlements and waste services, Councillor Xanthea Limberg. Furthermore, de Lille remains suspended from party activities.

These current events stand in contrast to the positive recognition that the Mayor has received over her years of political involvement. A Markinor survey conducted in 2004 found that de Lille was South Africa’s favorite politician, after Thabo Mbeki. In the same year, she was voted 22nd in the Top 100 South Africans series that aired in the country on national TV. Also in 2004, she was awarded the Freedom of the City of Birmingham, Alabama, and was awarded the honour of being one of the Top 5 Women in Government and Government Agencies. She was also awarded the 2004 Old Mutual South African Leadership Award in the Category of Woman Leadership.

In July 2006, she was the first woman to be recognised as Honorary Colonel of 84 Signal Unit in the South African National Defence Force. In August 2006, she received the City Press and Rapport Newspaper award as one of top 10 women in South Africa. At the invitation of Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, de Lille was the only South African Member of Parliament who attended the United Nations Millennium Project, hosted by the Earth Institute at Columbia University, in New York City.

It remains to be seen what the future holds for Patricia de Lille’s political career, with the next hurdle along her path being the feedback she receives from, and defense in front of, the DA’s Federal Legal Commission, relating to the Bowman Gilfillan investigation. As it stands, Cape Town, in the midst of its worst drought in recorded history, may have a new Mayor take the helms sooner than expected.


Source: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6]. Image sources: [1], [2].


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In their new year’s resolution statement, African National Congress (ANC) stalwarts and veterans said that for the party to achieve unity, President Jacob Zuma needs to resign as leader of the country. The statement was part of the annual resolutions that ANC veterans make at the turn of every year.

Part of the statement is as follows: “In 2018 no one should ever again believe that they can avoid their day in court because of their position in society. Real action against corruption has to happen. That starts with the urgent appointment of a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority. It must be followed by the politicization of our law enforcement agencies”.

“A clear message to SA would be for our country’s president to voluntarily step down. If the president really loves the ANC and wants it to remain in power by 2019, he would assist it by handing over the leadership”.

Opposition parties have called for steps against the President to be taken before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) next month.

Parliament recently announced that the 2018 SONA will take place at 7pm on Thursday 8 February. The President of will deliver the Address to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town, marking the official start of the Parliamentary program.

SONA sets out government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the year ahead‚ highlights achievements‚ flags challenges, and outlines development interventions for the coming financial year.

The State of the Nation address is broadcast live each year on major news channels, such as eNCA, SABC News, ANN7, and Parliament Channel, as well as on numerous South African radio stations.


Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image source: [1].