26,727,921 South Africans will participate in the sixth democratic national and provincial elections on 8 May 2019, a day which has also been declared an official public holiday by the President.
The elections are expected to run smoothly through the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), who will once again run the parliamentary election process in South Africa. Which means that 400 National Assembly members, 200 from national party list and 200 from provincial party list, will be elected into power and from there the president will be elected through the National Assembly.
With only a month to go it will be interesting to see what South Africans think when it comes to which political party to vote for, as they last made such a discussion 5 years ago. It would be especially interesting when it comes to issues of corruption, land, economic growth, education and, the talk of the town, the electricity crisis that South Africa is currently facing.
These are key issues that the top three political parties have raised in their 2019 manifestos. Specifically by the African National Congress (ANC), Democratic Alliance (DA), and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). They addressed detailed methods of tackling these issues should their party be voted into power.
Voters are actually spoiled for choice this year as 48 parties will be contesting the national elections, 19 more parties than there were in the 2014 elections. Gauteng is in the forefront with 36 of the 48 parties on the ballot paper this year. Provincial parties bear many options too with 32 parties contesting in the provincial level.
Additionally, many of the new political parties are made up of individuals well-known by the media for their role in business or even those who had previously been seen in the news. The newbies include GOOD formed by former Cape Town mayor and DA member Patricia de Lille.
Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoengg has also decided to run in the elections this year with his party African Content Movement. The most controversial parties to run this year is the Black First Land First and Capitalist Party of SA.
With only a month left, political parties are making sure that their voices are heard by the public through rallies and interviews all over the media. Many opposition parties hope to ensure that the ruling party, ANC, get less than 50% majority votes in the upcoming elections, but all we can do is wait and see if this dream will become a reality.