2019 Elections

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 in under conditions of universal adult suffrage since the end of the apartheid era in 1994 and the second election held since the death of Nelson Mandela. This election will result in the selection of the 5th President of South Africa following the end of apartheid. Incumbent president Jacob Zuma is ineligible for a third term in office as the South African Constitution limits a president to serve a maximum of two five-year terms.

Lead up to the election
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.

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.

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

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.

Electoral system
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. 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 chosen by the winning majority in each provincial legislature.

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.

Presidential candidates

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African National Congress
The ANC will hold its elective conference in December 2017 where it will elect the President, Deputy President, Chairperson, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Treasurer. Likely candidates for party leader and consequently also the party’s candidate for President are:

Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President of South Africa[9][10]
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former Chairperson of the African Union (2012-2017), Minister of Health (1994-1999), Minister of Foreign Affairs (1999-2009), Minister of Home Affairs (2009-2012).[11]
Mathews Phosa, former Treasurer General of the ANC and Premier of Mpumalanga.[12] [13]
Baleka Mbete, Speaker of the National Assembly, (2004-2008),(2014- ), Deputy President of South Africa (2008-2009)[14]
Kgalema Motlanthe,[15] President of South Africa (2008-2009), Deputy President of South Africa (2009-2014). Presidential candidate in 2012.
Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency (2014- ), Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development (2009–2014), Minister of Transport (2004-2009, Minister of Public Enterprises (1999-2004), Minister of Public Works (1994-1999)[16]
David Mabuza, Premier of Mpumalanga Province.[citation needed]
Zweli Mkhize, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province (2009-2013) and Treasurer-General of the ANC (2012- )[17]
Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Human Settlements (2014 – ), Minister of Public Service and Administration (2012-2014), Minister of Defence and Military Veterans (2009-2012), Minister of Housing (2004-2009), Minister of Intelligence 2001-2004.[18]

Democratic Alliance
The national conference of the Democratic Alliance is set to take place early in 2018.[19] Likely candidates for party leader and consequently also the party’s candidate for President are:

Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance and Leader of the Official Opposition (2014 – )
Solly Msimanga, Mayor of Tshwane (2016- )
Herman Mashaba, Mayor of Johannesburg, (2016 – )
Bongani Baloyi, Mayor of Midvaal

Economic Freedom Fighters
Julius Malema, Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (2013 – )
Floyd Shivambu, Chief Whip of the EFF in Parliament (2014 – ) and Deputy President of the EFF (2013 – )