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It's official: South Africans will go to the polls on May 8

26 February 2019 - 19:05 By Iavan Pijoos
South Africans are set to cast their votes on May 8.
South Africans are set to cast their votes on May 8.
Image: Gallo Images

President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially proclaimed May 8 as the date for the national and provincial elections.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said on Tuesday that the voters' roll would close at midnight. May 8 will also be a public holiday.

"The proclamation places the preparation of the elections into a different trajectory. It gives a greater impetus to the currently unfolding election preparations," the IEC said in a statement.

"The commission will now have to escalate its preparations so that all electoral activities are accomplished in time for election day."

The date was first announced during the president's state of the nation address earlier this month - but it still had to be officially proclaimed, which happened on Tuesday. The date will now be published in the Government Gazette.

The IEC added that the proclamation of the election date has also triggered the opening of nominations for candidates. "The closing date for candidate nomination will be regulated in terms of the election timetable," said the commission.

The IEC has urged voters abroad to notify the chief electoral officer of registrations and re-registrations, and of the mission where they intend to vote.