top of page

Editor's Note: South African Elections 2024: Insights, Lessons, and Future Prospects

Dear Reader,

On May 29, 2024, South Africa conducted its seventh national elections since the dawn of democracy. This election period was marked by South Africa's foreign policies, especially its stance on Palestine, being central to global politics. The elections were held amid severe economic challenges, including the long-lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing energy crisis. These economic difficulties have heavily impacted livelihoods, especially those of the youth, who make up a significant portion of South Africa's population.

Interest in the South African elections by various stakeholders and organizations highlighted the country's importance in global politics. The elections were widely regarded as crucial due to South Africa's influential role on the international stage. Election observation missions released their preliminary findings before critical processes such as results tabulations, election results announcement, and post-election environment observations. Statements from the African Union (AU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) commended South Africa for professional conduct of the elections. Despite noting some technical issues and irregularities, these missions concluded that the elections were conducted in a free, fair, and transparent manner.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is publishing this special Zim-Briefing edition to provide in-depth analysis of the recently concluded General Elections because the South African experience provides useful lessons on the expansion of electoral democracy in Africa. Given that more SADC countries will be holding elections later this year, this analysis will be particularly relevant and timely for the region.

This edition explores several key issues across four articles. This includes a detailed analysis of the election management process including voter registration, Election Day proceedings, vote counting and election results announcement. The edition also delves into the post-election landscape, including the formation of a Government of National Unity and possible governance challenges and prospects that may arise in the aftermath of the 2024 elections.

Lastly, the special edition of the ZimBriefing highlights the broader implications of the South African elections in the SADC region and the entire African continent, focusing on inclusivity and participatory democracy.

Happy reading!


bottom of page