President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced May 8, 2019 as the official date for the National Assembly and new provincial legislatives. This will be the sixth election held since the end of the apartheid system in 1994. The election will determine who will become the next President of South Africa. Ramaphosa, the 12th head of State in South Africa, will lead the ruling African National Congress in the election, attempting to retain majority status and a full term in office as president; his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, resigned from office on 14 February 2018 and was already ineligible for a third term in office as the South African Constitution limits a president to serve a maximum of two five-year terms.
The proclamation places the preparation of the elections into a different trajectory. It gives a greater impetus to the currently unfolding election preparations. The commission will now have to escalate its preparations so that all electoral activities are accomplished in time for election day – Independent Electoral Commission
Proclamation of the election date also triggers the opening of candidate nomination for the elections. The closing date for candidate nomination will be regulated in terms of the election timetable. More than 200 political parties are expected to contest the elections. Voters abroad were urged to notify the chief electoral officer of registrations/re-registrations and of the mission where they intend to vote.