South Africa: Electoral legislation

Updated April 2019

Constitution

Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, [www] http://www.gov.za/documents/constitution/Constitution-Republic-South-Africa-1996-1 (accessed 19 Mar 2019).
Ratified by the Constitutional Court on 4 December 1996 and took effect on 4 February 1997; it has been amended 17 times.

Electoral laws and regulations

Electoral Act, 73 of 1998, [www] http://www.elections.org.za/content/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=989 (accessed 1 Apr 2019).
Includes amendments until 2013, as well as the following:

  • Election Regulations, 2004
  • Regulations Concerning the Submission of Candidate Lists, 2004
  • Voter Registration Regulations, 1998
  • Regulations on the Accreditation of Observers, 1999
  • Regulations on the Accreditation of Voter Education Providers, 1998

Local government

Local Government: Municipal Structures Act 117 of 1998, as amended until 2011, [www] http://www.elections.org.za/content/Documents/Laws-and-regulations/Municipal-Elections/Local-Government--Municipal-Structures-Act/ (accessed 1 Apr 2019).

Local Government: Municipal Demarcation Act No 27 of 1998, includes amendment of 2002, [www] http://www.elections.org.za/content/Documents/Laws-and-regulations/Municipal-Elections/Local-Government--Municipal-Demarcation-Act/ (accessed 1 Apr 2009)
Local Government Laws Amendment Act 19 of 2008, [www] https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/201409/315091098.pdf (accessed 25 Mar 2019).

Local Government: Municipal Electoral Act No 27 of 2000, [www] http://www.elections.org.za/content/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=983 (accessed 16 Jul 2016).
Local Government: Municipal Electoral Regulations, includes amendments until 2005, [www] http://www.elections.org.za/content/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=1241 (accessed 1 Apr 2019).
Local Government: Municipal Electoral Amendment Act of 2010, [www] http://www.elections.org.za/content/Documents/Laws-and-regulations/Municipal-Elections/Local-Government--Municipal-Electoral-Amendment-Act,-2010/ (accessed 1 Apr 2019).
Local Government: Municipal Electoral Amendment Act, 2016, Act no. 1 of 2016, [www] https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/201604/a1of2016localgovmunelectamendact.pdf (accessed 1 Apr 2019).

Election management bodies

Electoral Commission Act, 51 of 1996, [www] http://www.elections.org.za/content/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=987 (accessed 18 Jul 2016).
Includes amendments of 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2004 as well as the following:

  • Regulations on Party Liaison Committees, 1998
  • Regulations for the Registration of Political Parties, 2004
  • Regulations Relating to the Activities Permissible Outside Voting Stations on Voting Day

Municipal Demarcation Act 27 of 1998, as amended in 2002.

The following regulations, issued in terms of the Electoral Commission Act, govern the operations of the Electoral Court:

Political parties

Political Party Funding Act 2019 - with Regulations (Schedule 2)

Election observation

Regulations on the Accreditation of Observers, 1999
Code of Conduct for Accredited Observers (Regulations on the Accreditation of Observers, 1999, Schedule B).

Repealed

Public Funding of Represented Political Parties Act, 103 of 1997, as amended in 2005

The three statutes relevant to South Africa's transition to democracy, which provided the statutory context of the 1994 elections, were: