Voting in the 2014 elections is as easy as ABC. It's really
All you need is:
- To be at least 18-years-old on election day;
- To have a South African ID book (click here to get one if
you don't have an ID book);
- To be registered to vote (find out how to register here, or
SMS your ID number to 32810 to check if you're registered);
- To go along to the voting station on election day (to find
out where your local voting station is, click here).
- To make your mark in the box next to the party of your
choice on the ballot paper.
And who are the key parties to watch in the 2014 National Elections?
Agang SA, which means "Build SA" in Sesotho, was founded in February 2013 by Mamphela Ramphele, with the aim of restoring South Africa's democratic founding principles and values, in order to fulfil the country's potential and build a better future. The party promises zero tolerance for corruption; a focus on building an economy that works for all South Africans; the right to quality healthcare for all citizens, excellence in education; and the right to feel safe and secure, so that South Africans can all live lives of dignity. Ramphele is well-known as an activist, medical doctor, university executive and global public servant, as well as being involved in both the public and private sectors. As a new party in the South African political landscape, it remains to be seen how much support they will drum up.
(Source: Agang SA)
The African National Congress (ANC) has been South Africa's governing party since the establishment of majority rule in April 1994. Members first founded the organisation as the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) on 8 January 1912 in Bloemfontein - in order to protest injustices against the black South African population. John Dube, its first president, and poet and author Sol Plaatje, are among its founding members. The organisation became the ANC in 1923, and formed a military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation) in 1961. As the dominating party in the South African political landscape, it is likely new parties will try and come after their support base.
(Source sahistory.org.za and ANC.org.za)
The Democratic Party (DP), now the Democratic Alliance (DA), was originally formed on 8 April 1989, when the former Progressive Federal Party, Independent Party and National Democratic Movement merged. Under the combined leadership of Zach de Beer, Denis Worrall and Wynand Malan, the DP won 36 seats in Parliament in the general election of September that year. In the first post-apartheid election in 1994, the DP only won 1.7% of the vote at national level. In the 1999 general elections, the DP won over 9% of the national vote. The Democratic Alliance was formed on 24 June 2000, when the DP and the New National Party signed an agreement to establish the new party. This relationship ended in October 2001 when the NNP entered into an alliance with the ANC. All eyes will be on the DA in the Western Cape in 2014, where they currently run the province, as well as if and by how much they maintain their position as the official opposition in parliament.
(Source: sahistory.org.za and da.org.za)
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) was formed in 2013 by former ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema and others as a radical anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist movement. It models itself as a platform for South African youths to fight for the rights of workers and to strive for economic freedom. The party advocates the nationalisation of mines, banks and other strategic sectors of the economy, as well as the expropriation of land without compensation in order to undo the oppression which resulted from colonial domination. It also calls for free education, housing, healthcare and sanitation. As a new party in the South African political landscape, lead by the controversial Malema, they will look for the youth vote across the board.
Here are the political leaders to watch in the 2014 National Elections:
Jacob Zuma - ANC president and President of SA
Jacob Zuma was born in 1942 in Inkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. He became involved in politics at an early age, joining the
ANC in 1959. He became an active member of Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1962.
While on his way out of the country in 1963, he was arrested with a group of 45 recruits near Zeerust, and sentenced
to 10 years' imprisonment on Robben Island. After his release, Zuma helped mobilise internal resistance and was
instrumental in the re-establishment of ANC underground structures in the then Natal between 1973 and 1975.
He left South Africa in 1975 and became a member of the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) in 1977. By the end of
the 1980s he was head of the ANC Intelligence Department. Following the unbanning of the ANC in February 1990, he was
one of the first ANC leaders to return to South Africa to begin the process of negotiations.
In 1991, at the first ANC conference held in South Africa since 1959, he was elected the deputy secretary general.
After the 1994 elections, Zuma was appointed MEC of economic affairs and tourism in KwaZulu-Natal. In December 1994,
he was elected ANC national chairperson.
He was elected ANC deputy president in December 1997. He served as deputy president of South Africa from 1999 to 2005.
He was elected ANC president in December 2007.
Cyril Ramaphosa - ANC deputy president
Cyril Ramaphosa was born in Soweto in 1952. He studied law
at the University of the North, during which time he became involved in student
politics and was detained by the apartheid police on two occasions. He worked
as a law clerk before becoming a political activist and trade union leader,
being elected the first secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers. He
later became the secretary general of the ANC in 1991 and formed part of the
negotiations to end apartheid. Ramaphosa was elected a Member of Parliament in
1994, but resigned from politics in 1997 to move into the private sector. He
was elected onto the ANC National Executive Committee in 2007, and in 2012 he
was elected deputy president at the 53rd ANC national conference in Mangaung in
2012. His position in the ANC makes it likely he will be the deputy President of South Africa after the elections.
Helen Zille - DA Leader and Western Cape premier
Helen Zille began her career as a journalist on the Rand
Daily Mail and later became a political activist. She became involved in
various NGOs and organisations, including the Open Society Foundation, the Independent
Media Diversity Trust, and the Black Sash. She joined the former Democratic
Party in the mid 1990s and also acted as technical adviser to the party at Codesa in
the early 1990s. Zille was elected to the provincial parliament in the 1999
general election and appointed MEC for education. She served as MEC under the newly formed Democratic Alliance
until 2001, and then as leader of the opposition in the provincial legislature
until she was elected to national Parliament in 2004. In May 2006, Zille was elected mayor of Cape
Town, and received the World Mayor award in 2008. She was elected the leader of
the DA in 2007, and in 2009 became the premier of the Western Cape, a position
she still holds.
Julius Malema - EFF Leader and former President of the ANCYL
Julius Malema is the Commander in Chief of Economic Freedom Fighters. In
November 2011 he was suspended from his post as president of the
African National Congress Youth League, and on 24 April 2012 he was
officially expelled from the African National Congress. Malema entered
into politics when he joined the Masupatsela pioneer movement of the
African National Congress at age nine in 1990. He received military
training at the age of 14, which led to him joining the ANC Youth League
in 1994. He is known for his outspoken nature on socio-political
Mamphela Ramphele - AgangSA Leader and former World Bank MD
Mamphela Ramphele is the Chairperson of Circle Capital Ventures Limited. She is the former Chairperson of Goldfields Limited. She is also an academic, businesswoman and medical doctor and was an anti-apartheid activist. She was one of the founders of the Black Consciousness Movement, along with Steve Biko. Mamphela Ramphele was voted 55th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004. She is a former Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town and a one-time Managing Director at the World Bank. She is currently serves as a Director of Medi-Clinic Corporation Limited and Business Partners. In February 2013 she officially launched a new political party platform called Agang, which is Sesotho for ‘build’.