Election Resources

Election Resources

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It’s never been easier to find the information you need to report on the upcoming August 3 local government elections in South Africa – if you know where to look. The good news is that Code for South Africa has made the job much easier by curating a variety of useful resources and creating some free infographics for your blog or website.

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Jump to embeddable infographics

But this is not just a one-stop source for information; if you take the time to dig through the different resources you’ll find lots of great story ideas. A recurring one for municipal elections, for example, is how it differs from national and provincial elections, something many voters are still unaware of.

In a General Election voters cast their vote for a party, not an individual and parties are designated seats in Parliament in proportion to the percentage of the vote the receive. Parties then allocate MPs seats according to a list drawn up by parties and submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) before the elections.

But municipal elections use a ‘mixed system’ that is quite different to provincial and national elections, in which people vote directly for ward candidates based on the ‘first past the post’ system. They also get a second vote for a party which is the allocated PR seats based on the percentage of votes they get across all municipal wards. And in the case of a district council, made up of several smaller councils, voters get a third vote for a party to elect district councillors (except in metropolitans, which are classified as big cities).

Slightly complicated to explain, but important for voters to know when they show up at the polls. So perhaps a good story to start with is an explanation of how the electoral system works in SA. Or perhaps a quiz for your readers/viewers/listeners as a way of educating them?

But it’s also important to remember that these elections are all about people and their issues. So, whatever info you find, you need to get out into the field and speak to people in order to put a human face to your story. These elections are one of the few times that people can raise issues – and the politicians are listening. And you can help amplify their voices.

 

RESOURCES

The Independent Electoral Commission website should be your first stop for election information. Get the election timetable, find your current ward councillor, voting station, keep track of election results and more.

The IEC’s 2016 Municipal Elections Handbook has a lot of the online information in one downloadable PDF document. Electing Councillors: A Guide to Municipal Elections is a comprehensive guide detailing the electoral process and the rules and regulations governing it. This Municipal Elections Handbook from The Education and Training Unit for Democracy and Development is a nifty guide – with examples – to explain the electoral system and how it works.

Source election results from the last municipal elections at Wazimap along with rich 2011 Census data on a ward, municipal, provincial and countrywide.

A list of links to municipal financial documents and resources including financial statements for each municipality since 2002/3, municipal budgets – drafted and adopted, audit reports and more.

The Independent Electoral Commission have released the names of election candidates by province, including ID numbers, so you can do deeds office and CIPRA listings for them. You can download the PDF by province here or find the full list in an easy-to-use spreadsheet.

Has the City of Cape Town delivered on their sanitation goals? This interactive map of toilets in informal settlements lists all the kinds of toilets – or lack of – in informal settlements across Cape Town, Dig through it to find all kinds of stories. Tip: look at the ages of different settlements, the number of permanent toilets and the reasons (“restraints”) for not providing more permanent infrastructure.

The Municipal Demarcation Board is responsible for municipal boundaries – which have just been changed. Some wards have completely disappeared while others have merged or grown. See the Board’s website for more information.

Check out these free-to-use Elections 2016 infographics by People’s Assembly to embed on your website, blog or social media. NB: you need to credit to People’s Assembly and also send them an email to let them know you’ve used it. Elections readiness and Women and the 2016 elections

Code for South Africa has designed these free-to-use infographics explaining how our voting system works, how the candidates are divided amongst the parties, and how our system allows for “double agents”. Simply embed the codes above the graphic into your website or blog.

If we’ve missed anything, please let us know via our Election Resource Google Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSezsbty760yN-s8XnBo3u8Nor9d0GrCEx0Gpsk8PDFD1N6AJQ/viewform

Resource List

How the elections work

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/14982467-municipal-elections-2016

Embed in your site with this code:
<div class="piktowrapper-embed" pikto-uid="14982467-municipal-elections-2016" style="height: 300px; position: relative;"><div class="embed-loading-overlay" style="width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute; text-align: center;"><img width="60px" alt="Loading..." style="margin-top: 100px" src="https://magic.piktochart.com/loading.gif"/><p style="margin: 0; padding: 0; font-family: Lato, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: 600; font-size: 16px">Loading...</p></div><div class="pikto-canvas-wrap"><div class="pikto-canvas"></div></div></div><script>(function(d){var js, id="pikto-embed-js", ref=d.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];if (d.getElementById(id)) { return;}js=d.createElement("script"); js.id=id; js.async=true;js.src="https://magic.piktochart.com/assets/embedding/embed.js";ref.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ref);}(document));</script>

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The candidates

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/14984584-double-agents

Embed in your site with this code:
<div class="piktowrapper-embed" pikto-uid="14984584-double-agents" style="height: 300px; position: relative;"><div class="embed-loading-overlay" style="width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute; text-align: center;"><img width="60px" alt="Loading..." style="margin-top: 100px" src="https://magic.piktochart.com/loading.gif"/><p style="margin: 0; padding: 0; font-family: Lato, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: 600; font-size: 16px">Loading...</p></div><div class="pikto-canvas-wrap"><div class="pikto-canvas"></div></div></div><script>(function(d){var js, id="pikto-embed-js", ref=d.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];if (d.getElementById(id)) { return;}js=d.createElement("script"); js.id=id; js.async=true;js.src="https://magic.piktochart.com/assets/embedding/embed.js";ref.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ref);}(document));</script>

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