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Preparations for the 2014 National and Provincial Elections Briefing to the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs 13 August 2013. Introduction. Electoral Amendment Bill Political Environment Strategies to Encourage Participation of the Youth Civic Education Strategies

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Preparations for the 2014 National and Provincial ElectionsBriefing to the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs13 August 2013
  • Electoral Amendment Bill
  • Political Environment
  • Strategies to Encourage Participation of the Youth
  • Civic Education Strategies
  • Collaboration with other Chapter 9 Institutions
  • Electoral Staff Training
  • Ensuring Conditions for Free and Fair Elections
  • Effective Enforcement of the Code of Conduct
  • Intra-party Disputes
legislative framework
Legislative Framework
  • The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996
  • Electoral Commission Act 1996 (Act No. 51 of 1996)
  • Electoral Act 1998, (Act No. 73 of 1998)
  • The five year term for the current National Assembly (NA) and Provincial Legislatures (PL) expires on 21 April 2014
  • Elections must be held within 90 days of the expiry of the term or dissolution of the NA and/or PL
  • Election date proclaimed by the President of the Republic of South Africa
proposed legislative amendments 1
Proposed Legislative Amendments (…1)
  • The Commission has made proposals on legislative amendments taking into consideration:
    • two Constitutional Court judgements;
    • reports by observers;
    • election de-briefing sessions at levels of the organisation;
    • election de-briefing sessions with organs of civil society, and
    • election de-briefing sessions and consultations with political parties;
proposed legislative amendments 2
Proposed Legislative Amendments (…2)
  • The Electoral Amendment Bill 2013 seeks to amend the Electoral Act, 1998 (the Act) by:
    • Amending and inserting certain definitions;
    • Revising provisions related to the registration of voters;
    • Revising provisions related to special votes in the elections of the NA and PL;
    • Revising provisions related to the number of party agents at a voting station;
    • Correcting certain important technical aspects in the text of the Act and to provide for matters connected therewith.
election programme management epm
Election Programme Management (EPM)
  • The EPM is an integrated programme that entails 375 election-related projects across the divisions of the Electoral Commission (EC);
  • The projects are managed across all spheres of the EC (National Office, Provincial Electoral Offices and Municipal Electoral Offices);
  • The EPM is updated on an on-going basis with progress reviewed on a weekly basis and formally reported upon on a monthly basis;
  • Election preparation are proceeding according to schedule thus far.
  • Voting station network updated in line with new human settlement patterns;
  • Measures taken to increase the accessibility of voting stations by voters;
  • The number of voting districts has increased from 20,859 in 2011 to ± 22,225 in 2013 (this is not final yet);
  • The current re-determination of outer municipal boundaries may impact on voting districts; and
  • Technical alignments of boundaries are currently underway between the EC and the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB).
expansion staff recruitment and training 1
Expansion Staff Recruitment and Training (…1)
  • Expansion programme at National and Provincial Offices of the EC has been concluded and implementation is underway;
  • Outreach capacity has been strengthened through the appointment of Outreach and Training Officers (OTOs - 51) – in addition to Regional Supervisors (RSs) and their support staff in all District Councils (DCs). Their orientation sessions have been completed;
  • The recruitment of Municipal Outreach Co-ordinators (MFCs - 242) and Democracy Education Fieldworkers (DEFs - 1110) is underway, with some already appointed;
expansion staff recruitment and training 2
Expansion Staff Recruitment and Training (…2)
  • Phase 1 of the recruitment and training of expansion staff has been completed (i.e., Assistant Project Co-ordinators (APCs – 131) who will be manning MEO offices with one staff member and/or where Electoral Projects Co-ordinators (EPCs) will be seconded to training posts);
  • 2,137 of a total of 4,277 (i.e. 495) Area Managers have been recruited for the 2014 elections
  • 21,901 of a total of 44,484 registration officials have been recruited for the general registration weekend
expansion staff recruitment and training 3
Expansion Staff Recruitment and Training (…3)
  • Phase 2 of the recruitment and training of expansion staff will be completed in September 2013;
  • Training boot-camps for registration weekends have been completed in all provinces;
  • A total of 19,856 electoral staff (presiding officers, deputy presiding officers, and area managers) have been trained to date
  • The revision of MEO contracts has been completed and will take effect from 1 October 2013;
outreach 1
Outreach (…1)
  • Outreach comprises Civic and Democracy Education (CDE), Stakeholder Management, International Relations, Election Observation and Communications;
  • A Task Team of EC Staff members, specialist materials developers and educational practitioners has been established to develop and/or quality assure all educational materials in all official languages as well as Braille. Good progress has been made in this regard;
outreach 2
Outreach (…2)
  • Consultations with stakeholders are scheduled and/or underway, including:
    • the Presidency, Ministries and Government Departments, Provincial Legislatures, organised local government, organised business and labour, traditional leadership, youth formations, schools and institutions of tertiary education, amongst others;
  • Arrangements between the EC and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) are at an advanced stage to host the first ever Schools Democracy Week in October 2013;
outreach 3
Outreach (…3)
  • A Communication Strategy as well as an Implementation Plan have been approved and are now in the roll-out phase;
  • A National Co-ordinating Forum (NCF) has been established comprising members of civil society organisations (CSOs) at National and Provincial levels. The NCF seeks to:
    • Address matters concerning civic and voter education in general and the delivery of such services by CSOs in particular;
    • Co-ordinate efforts aimed at proactively addressing conflict management; and
    • Encourage election observation especially by domestic observers.
outreach 4
Outreach (…4)
  • Arrangements between the EC and the Department of Basic Education (DBE) are at an advanced stage to host the first ever Schools Democracy Week in early October 2013;
  • On the international relations front, plans to organise a conference on ‘Youth and Elections’ in collaboration with SADC Electoral Commissions Forum (ECF) later in October 2013 are unfolding. The conference will be held in South Africa with youth formations from across SADC countries in attendance;
  • A Communication Strategy as well as an Implementation Plan have been approved and are now in the roll-out phase;
public awareness 2
Public Awareness (…2)
  • An election logo and slogan will underpin the communications campaign across a number of platforms
    • Outdoor (Billboards, Wall Murals, Train Station Boards, Taxi & Rank TV);
    • Print (Posters, Flyers, Newspapers, Magazines);
    • Electronic (Television, Radio);
    • Digital/Online (Website, Applications)
    • New media (Facebook, Twitter, Mix-it)
public awareness 21
Public Awareness (…2)
  • There will be a greater focus on social media in order to reach our target market
  • SMS facility: allows voters to check voter registration details;
  • Public website will be form-friendly and allows voters to check registration status on-line; help locate voting stations, provide updated calendar of events, media releases and election results;
  • Public call centre: toll-free number.
enforcement of the electoral code of conduct
Enforcement of the Electoral Code of Conduct
  • The Electoral Act prescribes an Electoral Code of Conduct, which must be subscribed to by every party and/or candidate contesting an election
  • The Code is enforceable by the Electoral Court
  • Other forms of prohibited conduct in terms of the Electoral Act 1998 are criminal offences and will be dealt with by the courts
  • Previous election experience suggests the need for:
    • Improved training of law enforcement officials
    • Exploring possible designation of special courts to hear electoral cases
voter registration
Voter Registration
  • There were 23 062 521 registered voters as at 5 August 2013 on the Voters’ Roll;
  • Continuous voter registration yield is low;
  • Phase 1 of targeted communication and registration (TCR) following changes as a result of demarcation processes, has taken place in affected areas with a yield of 310 000 total registrations;
  • Phase 2 of TCR will target wards with 60% or less voter registrations. Four days will be set aside in September for this exercise; and
  • General registration weekends have a proven record of high voter registration yields and are therefore planned.
voters roll
Voters’ Roll
  • The South African voters’ roll remains a fundamental contributor to the credibility of the country’s elections:
    • Regularly updated against the national population register (at least once-a-month);
    • Maintains audit trails of all voters since the first voters’ roll was compiled in 1998;
    • Readily available for inspection whenever an election is called; and
    • Copies of the voters’ roll are provided to parties and candidates contesting elections.
  • The loss of registered voters as a result of death has decreased significantly in comparison to the last NPE.
registration of political parties and liaison
Registration of Political Parties and Liaison
  • There were 225 registered political parties as at 8 August 2013 – 140 in the national sphere and 85 in the municipal sphere of government;
  • Political party registration is an on-going activity;
  • Political parties have to be registered to contest an election;
  • Parties with representation in the national, provincial and/or municipal spheres of government are represented in the Party Liaison Committees (PLCs) at National, Provincial and/or Municipal levels organised by the EC.
registration of political parties and liaison1
Registration of Political Parties and Liaison
  • There are 2517 PLC Meetings (12 Nat/108 Prov/2397 Munic) scheduled in the 2013/14 Financial Year;
  • The EC has also scheduled at least 2 meetings of non-represented parties across all spheres of government.
election staff recruitment and training 1
Election Staff Recruitment and Training (…1)
  • In excess of 250 000 election officials will be recruited for the elections
  • Training programme being rolled out and all election officials will be trained before voting day
  • National and Provincial “train the trainer” workshops are concluded. Modular training currently underway for registration staff
  • Training will also be rolled out for party agents and police officers
election staff recruitment and training 2
Election Staff Recruitment and Training (…2)
  • Criteria for the appointment of election officials (presiding and deputy presiding officers, in particular) include:
    • Presiding (and deputy presiding) officers must not in the last five years have held political office or been a candidate in an election or have been politically active for a political party
    • must not in the last five years have held office in an organisation that has party political affiliations or aims.
election staff recruitment and training 3
Election Staff Recruitment and Training (…3)
  • Party Liaison Committees (PLCs) consulted on choice of registration officials before contracts with registration staff were concluded. Same will apply to election staff
logistics and infrastructure
Logistics and Infrastructure
  • Processes to procure election material underway (registration weekend materials already delivered to provincial warehouses);
  • Members of the Commission have approved the design and security features of the ballot paper;
  • Election material is planned for delivery from January 2014;
  • Tenders for security warehousing services are undergoing evaluation and award procedures;
  • The national warehouse and 8 provincial warehouses are secured for the elections; and
  • The provision of election materials will be linked to the registered voters, with a small buffer (<5%) after considering unit quantities.
information and communication technology ict 1
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)…1
  • Tight security measures are maintained within the ICT environment;
  • Drills have been undertaken to test the EC’s disaster recovery plans. These tests were successful;
  • Tender invitation will be issued shortly to ICT audit firms to undertake independent tests that will ensure that the results system to be used in the 2014 NPE is indeed fit for purpose;
  • At least 2 dry-runs will be undertaken with all offices of the EC participating in the dry-runs. This is a stress test similar to events on or soon after Election Day;
information and communication technology ict 2
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)…2
  • In collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs, the Smart Card Identity card has been tested for use both on the ‘zip-zip’ for both registration and voting. These tests were successful;
  • Systems will be in place for the notifications of special vote applications by voters in the country and abroad;
  • In every voting station, ‘zip-zips’ will carry the entire voters’ roll, with capability to identify the voting district at which the ‘zip-zip’ is used;
  • The ‘Voter Participation Application’ will be activated, with real data on voter participation forming part of the Election report.
ensuring the credibility of elections 1
Ensuring the Credibility of Elections (…1)
  • Measures have been taken to strengthen the role of party agents at voting stations and results capturing centres (MEO offices);
  • Counting will commence immediately after the closure of voting stations;
  • Counting will be done in the presence of party agents and observers;
  • Results slips will be filled following the conclusion of the count. Party agents will have the opportunity to verify and sign the result slips;
ensuring the credibility of elections 2
Ensuring the Credibility of Elections (…2)
  • Transparent temper-proof bags will be used to secure the authenticity of result slips between VSs and MEO offices;
  • Result slips received at the MEO offices (where results capturing will be taking place) will be recorded to ensure completeness;
  • Result slip capturing will be done using the double blind tally system – if the first and second capture match, the system will accept the captured results;
  • Captured results will; then be available for results auditing;
ensuring the credibility of elections 3
Ensuring the Credibility of Elections (…3)
  • Independent results auditors will be retained for the audit of results. They will have their unique log-on names, which will be used to access captured results per voting district and confirm those results;
  • Systems parameters will be set for the management of results exceptions;
  • Where results auditors have confirmed the results, then the results will undergo systems exceptions testing and if they pass, then they are transmitted on the results boards;
ensuring the credibility of elections 4
Ensuring the Credibility of Elections (…4)
  • If captured results fail system exceptions testing, then they will be forwarded to a senior EC staff member for investigation and resolution;
  • All results slips will be scanned and stored on the system, with functionality to view them online as may be required by EC staff, the media and political party officials;
  • Political parties and the media will be given access to EC’s systems for their own verification and self assurance concerning results;
  • Complaints raised by parties will be tracked and measured with respect to the length of time it has taken to resolve them. These records will be available online;
proclamation date
Proclamation Date
  • Once the elections have been proclaimed, the voters’ roll as at proclamation date will be used for the elections;
  • An Election Timetable (ET) will be drafted by the EC and consultations will take place on the ET with contesting political parties at national level on the day following the proclamation;
  • An ET as finalised by the EC will then be gazetted.
election timetable et
Election Timetable (ET)
  • An ET will set dates, amongst others for:
    • The closing of nomination of candidates and payments of election deposits;
    • Notifications by voters abroad;
    • Application dates for Special Votes in the republic;
    • Special Voting dates abroad and in the Republic; and Election Day;
special votes
Special Votes
  • Special votes conducted abroad will be transported back into the Republic and securely stored. Storage facilities for this purpose will be identified in advance;
  • Special votes conducted in the Republic will be kept in secure facilities identified for that purpose in every municipality;
  • The counting of Special Votes will take place once voting stations have closed and counting has commenced.
election day
Election Day
  • Approximately 250 000 staff members will be on duty;
  • There will be a national Results Operations Centre and 9 Provincial Operations Centres which will serve as hubs of electoral activity and reference points for the media, political parties and the EC;
  • Voting station hours will be determined and publicised in advance;
  • Counting will take place immediately after voting has ceased;
  • The results compilation process will commence.
post election day
Post-Election Day
  • The capturing, verification and transmission of results will be finalised as soon as possible after Election Day;
  • Complaints and/or objections will be considered and decided upon prior to the declaration of results;
  • Results will be announced and seat allocation undertaken;
  • Both the results and allocated seats will gazetted
  • National and Provincial Elections 2014 mark 20th anniversary of electoral democracy in South Africa
  • Challenges include:
    • Closing the voter registration gap (enrolling the youth);
    • Concluding legislative amendments in time;
    • Demarcation disputes;
    • Tensions and protests within communities; and
    • Meaningful presence and participation of party agents as well as observers.
  • The task is in hand.