The African Union and SADC Observers’ Mission are largely convinced that the 2019 national and provincial elections were free, fair and credible.
Though noting a few concerns they’d like addressed such as the participation of the youth in the polls; they have lauded the IEC for the peaceful elections.
The observers are due to make a formal declaration in a few weeks.
The AU election observer mission was led by Jakaya Kiwkete, former President of Tanzania. It comprised of a core team of four electoral experts and technical support staff from various African Union member states and institutions across the continent.
In his statement, the AU observer mission leader Kikwete commended the IEC for running the election in a professional manner.
Citing amongst others the opening in time of polling stations and the peaceful atmosphere in which they were conducted. He did, however, note a few issues.
The AU observer mission appealed to South Africans to continue maintaining the peace and unity shown during the elections.
Earlier the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Election Observer Mission gave the IEC a thumbs up for the manner in which the elections were carried.
It has also noted with concern the low registration and turnout of the youth at polling stations during the general elections.
Out of 26.7 million registered voters, 5.7 million were below the age of 30.
Head of the Mission and Zambian Foreign Minister Joseph Malanji addressed the media in Pretoria and offered the mission recommendations to improve voter sentiment amongst the youth.
“This requires special attention. The SEOM proposes the IEC, Human Sciences Research Council are urged to assess the possible causes of voter apathy amongst young South Africans with a view of designing and implementing voter and civic education programmes to address this apathy.”
Malanji commended the adherence by IEC to the democratic values and principles envisioned in the SADC treaty.
But the SADC electoral observer mission also highlighted numerous challenges.
Meanwhile, the IEC says it’s on track to release the final election results on Saturday.