South African Elections

The Library, Documentation and Information Department of the African Studies centre has compiled this dossier to coincide with the general elections in South Africa on April 22, 2009. It contains a selection of titles on elections in South Africa from the library's online catalogue, including monographs, articles, and chapters from edited works, published since 1993. Each title links directly to the corresponding record in the online catalogue, which provides a more detailed description of all titles as well as abstracts of many articles and edited works. The dossier starts with an introduction to South African elections since the end of apartheid and concludes with a selection of links to relevant web sites.
SA elections 2009 ballet box

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South Africa has held general elections to elect a new National Assembly as well as the provincial legislatures on April 22, 2009. The National Assembly consists of 400 members, 200 of whom are elected from national party lists, the other 200 from provincial party lists in each of the nine provinces. The President of South Africa is chosen by the National Assembly after the elections.

The 2009 elections are the fourth general elections held since the end of apartheid. After four years of protracted negotiations, the first democratic elections were held on April 26-29, 1994. The ANC won the election with 62.6% of the vote, securing 252 of the 400 seats in the National Assembly. It won seven out of the nine provincial elections but had to concede executive majorities to the National Party in the Western Cape and to the Inkatha Freedom Party in Kwazulu-Natal. Altogether, more than 19.5 million people voted through a liberal dispensation which accorded the ballot to all permanent residents and citizens. On May 9, 1994, the National Assembly unanimously elected Nelson Mandela President of South Africa.

In May 1996, the Constitutional Assembly – joint sittings of the National Assembly and the Senate – adopted a definitive constitution. Except for the replacement of the Senate with the National Council of Provinces, the 1996 Constitution retained the government institutions established by the 1993 interim constitution. The NP withdrew from the Government of National Unity in June 1996, an abdication prompted by NP leaders’ perception that they had failed to influence government policy.

The second general elections were held in June 1999. This time the franchise was confined to citizens and restricted to those in possession of current identity documents. As a consequence, participation was considerably lower than in 1994: nearly 16 million voters representing 68% of the voting age population. The ANC won a landslide victory of 66.3% of the vote. Nelson Mandela retired as President of South Africa and was succeeded by Thabo Mbeki.

President Mbeki led the ANC to a third landslide victory in the general elections of April 14, 2004, increasing its support to 69.6%. The Democratic Alliance, a merger of the Democratic Party and the New National Party, improved upon the results obtained by the DP in 1999 and consolidated its position as the official opposition to the ANC. At the provincial level the ANC for the first time governed in all nine provinces.

Given the political hegemony of the ANC, the political system in South Africa has evolved into a dominant party system. However, recently the context of party politics and electoral contestation ahead of the 2009 elections has changed. A sign of the change in the country’s political landscape is the emergence of the Congress of the People (COPE), which split from the ANC in the aftermath of the Jacob Zuma–Thabo Mbeki contest, internal party politics in the wake of the ANC annual conference in December 2008, and the ousting of Mbeki.

In the 2009 elections, 28 parties contested seats for the National Assembly. Eleven of them also contested for all nine Provincial Legislatures. Fourteen parties contested the elections for the National Assembly and one or more of the Provincial Legislatures, while three parties contested the elections for the National Assembly only.

For the election results see:

2004 Elections

Doing politics in Bushbuckridge: work, welfare and the South African elections of 2004 / Isak A. Niehaus
In: Africa / International African Institute: (2006), vol. 76, no. 4, p. 526-548 : tab

How the ANC won the 2004 elections : perspectives on voting behaviour in South Africa / Sydney Letsholo. - Johannesburg : EISA, 2005. - (EISA occasional paper ; 31)

Journal of African Elections (cover)Democracy, HIV/AIDS and citizen participation : focus on the 2004 South African election / Khabele Matlosa
In: Journal of African Elections: (2004), vol. 3, no. 2, p. 77-96 : tab

Les élections de 2004 en Afrique du Sud : les enseignements d'un scrutin gagné d'avance / Thierry Vircoulon
In: Afrique contemporaine: (2004), no. 210, p. 13-23 : graf

Political party funding in the 2004 election / Dirk Kotzé
In: Journal of African Elections: (2004), vol. 3, no. 2, p. 27-46 : tab

South Africa's third democratic election : opportunities and challenges / Khabele Matlosa & Sydney Letsholo
In: Outside the ballot box : preconditions for elections in Southern Africa 2004/5 / ed. by Jeanette Minnie. - Windhoek : Media Institute of Southern Africa: (2004), p. 119-137 : tab

The election result and its implications for political party configuration / Laurence Piper
In: Journal of African Elections: (2004), vol. 3, no. 2, p. 97-120 : tab

The turnover of power in KwaZulu-Natal : a growing commitment to and engagement with the democratic process / Shauna Mottiar
In: Journal of African Elections: (2004), vol. 3, no. 2, p. 47-58 : tab

Under strain : the racial/ethnic interpretation of South Africa's 2004 election / Thabisi Hoeane
In: Journal of African Elections: (2004), vol. 3, no. 2, p. 1-26

Women's representation : the South African electoral system and the 2004 election / Amanda Gouws
In: Journal of African Elections: (2004), vol. 3, no. 2, p. 59-76 : tab


1999 Elections

The electoral temptation of race in South Africa : implications for the 2004 election / Gavin Davis
In: Transformation: (2003), no. 53, p. 4-28 : tab

Les leçons des élections du 2 juin 1999 : une victoire exigeante pour l'ANC / Denis Constant Martin
In: L'Afrique politique: (2001), p. 253-267 : krt., tab

South Africa's 1999 election: consolidating a dominant party system / Kimberly Lanegran
In: Africa Today: (2001), vol. 48, no. 2, p. 81-102 : tab

South Africa's second democratic election 1999 : an annotated bibliography / Beth Strachan. - Auckland Park : Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, 2001

Provincial elections and government formation in the Western Cape : the politics of polarisation / Lia Nijzink & Sean Jacobs
In: Politikon: (2000), vol. 27, no. 1, p. 37-49 : tab

Consolidating democracy : South Africa's second popular election / Tom Lodge. - Johannesburg : Witwatersrand University Press, 1999

Democracy South Africa : evaluating the 1999 election / Yvonne Muthien (ed.). - Pretoria : HSRC, 1999

book cover Elections 99 South AfricaElection '99 South Africa : from Mandela to Mbeki / Andrew S. Reynolds (ed.). - New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999

Elections '99 / Independent Electoral Commission, IEC. - Auckland Park : Electoral Institute of South Africa, 1999

From transition to consolidation : the 1999 South African general election / Dirk Kotzé
In: Africa Quarterly: (1999), vol. 39, no. 4, p. 39-59

Hegemonism, dominance or weak opposition? : the partisan situation on the eve of South Africa's second election campaign / Robert Mattes, Helen Taylor & Cherrel Africa
In: Transformation: (1999), no. 38, p. 1-19 : tab

Party presence and voter trust : findings from the EISA pre-election day and exit poll surveys / Tom Lodge & Sibusiso Ntuli. - Johannesburg : Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, 1999

Pre-election focus 1999 : a detailed guide to the 1999 elections / Venitia Govender & Sally Sealey (ed.). - [Johannesburg] : Human Rights Committee, 1999

The South African elections / Stephen Orvis (ed.). - New Brunswick, N.J. African Studies Association, 1999. - (Issue, ISSN 0047-1607 ; vol. 27, no. 2)

The South African election of June 1999. - Basingstoke [etc.] : Carfax Publishing, Taylor & Francis, 1999. - (Politikon, ISSN 0258-9346 ; vol. 26, no. 2)

South Africa's second democratic election / Dominic Milazi
In: Lesotho Social Science Review: (1998), vol. 4, no. 2, p. 83-97


1994 Elections

Images of negotiation: the story of an election told through print advertisements / Ruth Teer-Tomaselli
In: Critical Arts: (2005), vol. 19, no. 1/2, p. 74-111

The South African voter and the racial census, c 1994 / Pierre Du Toit
In: Politeia: (1999), vol. 18, no. 2, p. 6-22

An election to remember : recollections of a United Nations observer to the 1994 South African election / Chisanga Puta-Chekwe. - Lusaka : Bookworld Publishers, 1998

L'acte de vote en Afrique du Sud : remarques à partir des premières élections démocratiques d'avril 1994 / Ivan Crouzel
In: Politique africaine: (1998), no. 69, p. 29-39

Race, ethnicity, and voting behaviour: lessons from South Africa / Robert M. Mattes & Amanda Gouws
In: Elections and conflict management in Africa / Timothy D. Sisk and Andrew Reynolds, ed. - Washington, DC : United States Institute of Peace Press: (1998), p. 119-142 : tab

book cover Launching democracy in South AfricaLaunching democracy in South Africa : the first open election, April 1994 / R. W. Johnson & Lawrence Schlemmer (ed.). - New Haven, Conn., [etc.] : Yale University Press, 1996

Mandela's lost province : the African National Congress and the Western Cape electorate in the 1994 South African elections / Matt Eldridge & Jeremy Seekings
In: Journal of Southern African Studies: (1996), vol. 22, no. 4, p. 517-540 : fig., graf., tab

Selling change: advertisements for the 1994 South African election / Eve Bertelsen
In: African Affairs: (1996), vol. 95, no. 379, p. 225-252 : foto's

The Johannesburg massacre: media images of the South African transition / Elaine Windrich
In: Africa Today: (1996), vol. 43, no. 1, p. 77-94

Images of change / George Hallett. - Braamfontein : Nolwazi Educational Publishers, 1995

International monitoring of the transition to democracy in South Africa, 1992-1994 / Douglas G. Anglin
In: African Affairs: (1995), vol. 94, no. 377, p. 519-543 : tab

Learning to vote : voter education in South Africa's 1994 elections / Valerie Møller & Theodor Hanf / Karen Mac Gregor (ed.). - Durban : Indicator Press, 1995

South Africa : threats to a new democracy : continuing violence in KwaZulu-Natal / Human Rights Watch. - New York [etc.] : Human Rights Watch, 1995. - (Human Rights Watch, Africa, ISSN 1079-2325 ; vol. 7, no. 3)

South Africa: the elections 1994 / Chantal Cuddumbey
In: L'Afrique politique: (1995), [vol. 2], p. 93-117 : graf., tab

The South African general election, April 1994: results, analysis and implications / Tom Lodge
In: African Affairs: (1995), vol. 94, no. 377, p. 471-500

Transitions to democracy? : the South African and Mozambican election experiences of 1994 / Jeremy Grest
In: Africanus: (1995), vol. 25, no. 1, p. 5-14

United Nations Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA): Security Council resolutions 772 (1992)and 894 (1994) and the South African transition : preventive diplomacy and peace-keeping / Muna Ndulo
In: African Yearbook of International Law: (1995), vol. 3, p. 205-238

'Negotiated elections' in South Africa, 1994 / Morris Szeftel
In: Review of African Political Economy: (1994), vol. 21, no. 61, p. 457-470 : fig., tab

Afrique du Sud: "un homme, une voix" / Marc Aicardi de Saint-Paul
In: Afrique contemporaine: (1994), no. 171, p. 3-16

book cover Elections 94 South AfricaElection '94 South Africa : the campaigns, results and future prospects / Andrew Reynolds (ed.). - Cape Town [etc.] : Philip, 1994

Election special : South Africa's march to democracy / Rhoda Njanana (ed.). - Harare : Southern African Research and Documentation Centre, 1994. - (Unfinished business ; no. 8)

Founding democracy and the new South African voter / Lawrence Schlemmer & Ian Hirschfeld (ed.). - Pretoria : Human Sciences Research Council, 1994. - (Information update, ISSN 1017-7485 ; [vol. 3], [no. 2] special)

International monitoring of the South African elections / Douglas G. Anglin. - Toronto : [African Studies Association], 1994

Les premières élections générales en Afrique du Sud / Alfred Bosch
In: Politique africaine: (1994), no. 54, p. 127-143

Observing South Africa's 1994 national and provincial elections : final report to the European Commission from the European Union Election Unit / European Union Election Unit. - Johannesburg : European Union Election Unit, 1994

Parlamentswahlen in Südafrika / Ulf Engel
In: Verfassung und Recht in Übersee: (1994), Jg. 27, Quart. 4, p. 447-490 : tab

SA 27 april 1994 : an authors' diary = SA 27 april 1994 : 'n skrywersdagboek / André Brink (ed.). - Pretoria [etc.] : Queillerie, 1994

South Africa's 1994 elections : the birth of democracy, its future prospects and Norwegian development aid / Elling N. Tjønneland (ed.). - Oslo [etc.] : Norwegian Institute of Human Rights [etc.], 1994. - (Human rights report, ISSN 0804-0672 ; no. 3)

South Africa's 1994 election in an African perspective / Roger Southall
book cover SA 27 april 1994In: Africa Insight: (1994), vol. 24, no. 2, p. 86-98 : tab

South Africa's watershed election / James Hamill & J. E. Spence
In: The World Today: (1994), vol. 50, no. 7, p. 128-132

The South African elections of 1994: the remaking of a dominant-party State / Roger Southall
In: The Journal of Modern African Studies: (1994), vol. 32, no. 4, p. 629-655 : tab

Waarnemer / Albert H. Heuvel. - Baarn : Ten Have, 1994

How the vote will go : a survey of African potential voters in the Eastern Cape / Jan K. Coetzee & Geoffrey T. Wood
In: Politikon: (1993), vol. 20, no. 2, p. 25-45 : graf., krt., tab


Electoral system, electoral law

Delimitation of local government ward boundaries in the Tshwane municipal area : the challenge of achieving fair political representation / C. J. Napier
In: Politeia: (2007), vol. 26, no. 2, p. 179-191

Of no account? : South Africa's electoral system (non) debate / Louise Vincent
In: Journal of Contemporary African Studies: (2006), vol. 24, no. 1, p. 81-100

Floor crossing and nascent democracies : a neglected aspect of electoral systems? : the current South African debate in the light of the Indian experience / Clemens Spieß & Malte Pehl
In: Verfassung und Recht in Übersee: (2004), Jg. 37, Quart. 2, p. 195-224 : tab

Post-election South Africa : the continuing case for electoral reform / Roger Southall
In: Journal of African Elections: (2004), vol. 3, no. 2, p. 154-165

How the South African electoral system was negotiated / Tom Lodge
In: Journal of African Elections: (2003), vol. 2, no. 1, p. 71-76

Should prisoners have a right to vote? / Ntusi Mbodla
In: Journal of African Law: (2002), vol. 46, no. 1, p. 92-102

Constitutional constraints on South Africa's electoral system / Glenda Fick
In: Journal of African Elections: (2001), vol. 1, no. 2, p. 69-77

Electoral management and democratic governance in southern Africa / David Pottie
In: Politikon: (2001), vol. 28, no. 2, p. 133-155 : tab

The 1994 and 1999 electoral process/systems: promoting democracy in South Africa / Constanze Bauer
In: African Journal of Political Science: (2001), vol. 6, no. 1, p. 105-122 : tab

book cover Electoral systems and democratization in southern AfricaElectoral systems and democratization in Southern Africa / Andrew Reynolds. - Oxford [etc .] : Oxford University Press, 1999. - (Oxford studies in democratization)

The right to vote in South Africa : a hundred years of experience / Klavs Skovsholm
In: Verfassung und Recht in Übersee: (1999), Jg. 32, Quart. 2, p. 236-252

A systematic view on the electoral reform debate in South Africa / Michael Krennerich & Jacques De Ville
In: Verfassung und Recht in Übersee: (1997), Jg. 30, Quart. 1, p. 26-41 : tab

The importance of electoral system and constitutional design to the new democracies of southern Africa / Andrew Reynolds. - Toronto : [African Studies Association], 1994

Elections, politics and governance

African National Congress change in leadership : what really won it for Zuma? / Claire Ceruti
In: Review of African Political Economy: (2008), vol. 35, no. 115, p. 107-114

The political cost of AIDS in Africa : evidence from six countries / Kondwani Chirambo (ed.). - Pretoria : IDASA, 2008

A silent revolution : South African voters, 1994-2006 / Collette Schulz-Herzenberg
In: South Africa 2007 / ed. by Sakhela Buhlungu . . . [et al. ]. - Cape Town : HSRC Press: (2007), p. 114-115 : graf., tab

Voting behaviour in the SA local government elections of 2006 with specific reference to the youth / Maxi Schoeman & Charles Puttergill
In: Journal of African Elections: (2007), vol. 6, no. 1, p. 152-173

Electoral politics in South Africa : assessing the first democratic decade / Jessica Piombo & Lia Nijzink (ed.). - Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2006

Introduction: the contradictions and ironies of elections in Africa / Kwame A. Ninsin, Hala G. Thabet, Adigun Agbaje, Said Adejumobi, John Makumbe, Peter Wanyande, Adam Habib & Sanusha Naidu
In: Africa Development: (2006), vol. 31, no. 3, p. 1-10, 11-24, 25-44, 45-61, 62-80 : tab

Partisan realignment in Cape Town 1994-2004 / Jeremy Seekings
In: Journal of African Elections: (2006), vol. 5, no. 1, p. 176-203 : graf., tab

Service delivery and voting behaviour : a comparative overview of the 2004 general election and 2006 municipal elections in South Africa / J. Steyn Kotze
In: Politeia: (2006), vol. 25, no. 3, p. 207-218

HIV/AIDS and democratic governance in South Africa : illustrating the impact on electoral processes / Per Strand & Kondwani Chirambo (ed.). - Pretoria [etc.] : IDASA [etc.], 2005

The integration of emotional and cognitive messages in election campaigns: a South African case study / Lynnette M. Fourie & Johannes D. Froneman
In: Critical Arts: (2005), vol. 19, no. 1/2, p. 112-126 : ill

book cover One woman one voteElections, constitutionalism and political stability in South Africa / Dren Nupen
In: African Journal on Conflict Resolution: (2004), vol. 4, no. 2, p. 119-143

The dominant-party system : challenges for South Africa's second decade of democracy / Heidi Brooks
In: Journal of African Elections: (2004), vol. 3, no. 2, p. 121-153 : tab

One woman, one vote : the gender politics of South African elections / Glenda Fick, Sheila Meintjes, & Mary Simons (ed.). - Johannesburg : Electoral Institute of Southern Africa, 2003

Coalition building, election rules, and party politics : South African women's path to parliament / Hannah E. Britton
In: Africa Today: (2002), vol. 49, no. 4, p. 33-67 : tab

Making sense of the 'Coloured' vote in post-apartheid South Africa : comparing the 1994 and 1999 provincial results in the Western Cape / Sean Jacobs
In: Journal of African Elections: (2001), vol. 1, no. 1, p. 23-35 : tab

The South African local government elections of December 2000 / Tom Lodge
In: Politikon: (2001), vol. 28, no. 1, p. 21-46 : tab

L'Afrique du Sud à la veille d'une consultation décisive / Jean François Bayart, Stephen Ellis & Béatrice Hibou
In: Politique africaine: (1999), no. 73, p. 137-145

Elections and conflict management in Africa / Timothy D. Sisk & Andrew Reynolds (ed.). - Washington, DC : United States Institute of Peace Press, 1998

The local elections in KwaZulu-Natal: 26 June 1996 / A. M. Johnston & R. W. Johnson
In: African Affairs: (1997), vol. 96, no. 384, p. 377-398 : krt., tab

Qualitative and quantitative perspectives on voter empowerment in South Africa : the Matla Trust Voter Education Project / Susan Booysen
In: Politikon: (1996), vol. 23, no. 1, p. 43-61 : fig., graf

27 April : one year later = een jaar later / André Brink (ed.). - Pretoria [etc.] : Queillerie, 1995

The waiting country : a South African witness / Mike Nicol. - London : Gollancz, 1995

Virtuous trends in South African society / Julia Frielinghaus. - Braamfontein : South African Institute of Race Relations, 1994. - (Spotlight, ISSN 1018-0842 ; no. 2/94)

South Africa : the countdown to elections / Southern Africa Project. - Washington, D.C. : Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law, 1993

Selected web resources

The ASC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Online Articles

A model for election night forecasting applied to the 2004 South African elections / J. M Greben, C Elphinstone & J Holloway
In: Orion: Journal of the Operations Research Society of South Africa, vol. 22, no. 1 (2006)

A democratising South Africa?: an analysis of the 2004 national election / Leah Shianne Prudhomme
Masters Thesis, Rhodes University, 2005

Prediction of the 2004 national elections in South Africa / J.M.Greben (et al.)
In: South African Journal of Science, vol. 101, 4 March, 2005, p. 157-161;jsessionid=6AE220B8E561B36A7A788C77B65B3C7F?sequence=3

Web Sites

The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA)
Not for profit organization established in 1996 and based in Johannesburg. Its programme areas include balloting & electoral services; conflict management, democracy & electoral education; governance and elections & political processes. Has a country profile South Africa with information on the 2009 elections, an election archive, and legal and general information.
For the election results see:

Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)
The Electoral Commission of South Africa is a permanent body created by the Constitution to promote and safeguard democracy in South Africa. Its immediate task is the impartial management of free and fair elections at all levels of government. Site contains laws and regulations, registration and voting information, election results since 1994, political parties, IEC processes, and publications.

IEC logoElections 2009
Election 2009 pages of the South African site News 24.

Parties participating in the 2009 election (March 2009)
List of all parties participating in the national and/or (some) provincial elections

The 11 parties participating in the NA elections and all provincial elections:

African National Congress (ANC)

Democratic Alliance (DA)

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)

United Democratic Movement (UDM)

Independent Democrats (ID)

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)

Vryheidsfront Plus

United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP)

Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC)

African People’s Convention

Congress of the People (COPE)