South Africa’s 2019 Election Results: Which Parties Made Gains and Losses?

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.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

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

SA 2019 Elections: Voting from Overseas; Special Voting Registration Info; Party Info; Registration Details

South African general elections will be taking place on the 8th of May (a public holiday) this year. This is an opportunity for all South African citizens, living locally and abroad, to cast their vote for their preferred political party and have their say in who represents them in Parliament for the next 5 years. Voter turnout is traditionally quite low in SA, and parties have been going to great lengths to encourage all registered voters to turn up at the polls on 8 May to participate.

To confirm you are registered to vote, visit the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) website here. And to check the your info is correct on your My IEC profile, click here.

For certain voters, such as those living overseas, or those who need to cast a special ballot, there are extra steps that needed to be taken by 13 March, and we have outlined the process for voting (and voting days and times) for these voters below.

Voting from abroad

South Africans who will be overseas on voting day (residing or on vacation) needed to submit their intent to vote from overseas to the IEC via a VEC10 form by 13 March. If you have done this, your voting day will be 27 April. Polls will be open from 7am to 9pm on this day. You need to take your passport, as well as one of the following: a green, barcoded ID; a smart ID; a valid temporary ID. If you do not take the two documents on the day, you will not be allowed to vote, even if you are registered. For more info, click here.

Special vote (voting from home)

Special votes are available for situations such as pregnancy, disability, and physical infirmary. For voters needing to vote from their home, a VEC1 application form should have been submitted to the IEC by 13 March. If you have done this, you should have received an SMS notifying you of the outcome of your application after processing. To confirm whether you are registered for a special vote, click here. Special votes from home will be cast between 9am and 5pm on 6 May and 7 May.

Special vote (voting at a polling station)

Those who will be unable to vote at the polling station closest to the home, but will be able to vote at a different station, also needed to apply for such via a VEC1 application form, submitted to the IEC by 13 March. If you have done so, you also should have received a confirmation SMS. To confirm whether you are registered for a special vote, click here. Special votes from different polling stations will be cast between 9am and 5pm on 6 May and 7 May.

Political party manifestos

Each election, major South African political parties release manifestos, stating their vision for the country, and outlining their plans, should they take power. It is important to educate yourself on the issues important to each party, to make sure your values align with who you vote for. We have linked some of these manifestos below.

  • United Democratic Movement (UDM): Link
  • African National Congress (ANC): Link
  • Democratic Alliance (DA): Link
  • Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP): Link
  • GOOD: Link
  • Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF): Link
  • African Democratic Change (ADeC): Link
  • Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO): Link
  • Freedom Front Plus/Vryheidsfront Plus (FF Plus/VF Plus): Link
  • African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP): Link
  • Congress of the People (COPE): Link
  • African Transformation Movement (ATM): Link

Other information

Below we have a list of links to other important information worth reading before you cast your vote.

  • Voting station finder (map): Link
  • IEC mobile app (for checking your details, getting news, and receiving notifications of election results): Link
  • Find out who your Ward Councillor is: Link
  • Political party list: Link
  • How political party funding works in SA: Link
  • The Electoral Code of Conduct: Link
  • Voter frequently asked questions: Link


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

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