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Election day: Everything you need to know to make your mark

07 May 2019 - 12:18 By Unathi Nkanjeni
South Africans will vote between 7am and 9pm on Wednesday.
South Africans will vote between 7am and 9pm on Wednesday.
Image: Niyazz/Shutterstock

On Wednesday South Africans get their five-yearly chance to cast their votes in national and provincial elections. 

Here's what you need to know about voting day:

National and provincial elections

The national and provincial elections are two different elections to choose representatives for the national assembly and the nine provincial legislatures. 

The national government makes and carries out laws and policies for the whole country. It is made up of parliament led by the speaker, and the national government led by the president and ministers.

The provincial government makes and carries out laws and policies that affect the province only. It is made up of the legislature led by the speaker, and provincial government led by the premier and members of the executive council (MECs).

Here are some last-minute pointers for voters:

Voting stations

There are 22,924 voting stations open between 7am and 9pm. See the list of voting stations as well as the mobile voting stations with stopping points and times here

Home Affairs extended hours

In support of the elections, the department of home affairs will extend its operating hours at front offices in a drive to help eligible voters collect their identity documents (IDs) or temporary identity certificates. The front offices will be open 7am to 9pm.

PODCAST | Who should you vote for?

Casting your vote

  • Find your correct voting station
  • Present your valid identification document to the door controller at the entrance
  • Check that you are on the voters' roll
  • Get your ballot papers
  • Get your identification documents stamped
  • Find an empty voting booth and make your mark
  • Cast your vote
  • Ensure that voting is free and fair

Special votes

A special vote - currently closed for applications - allowed registered voters who can't vote at their voting station on election day to apply to vote on a predetermined day before election day.

Special voting in the 2019 national and provincial elections took place on Monday May 6 and will continue on Tuesday May 7 as per the election timetable.