Declaration of election result: the role of the IEC

IEC Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo
Reading Time: 2 minutes

On Saturday, 11 May the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa is expected to announce the results of the 2019 National and Provincial elections.

The poll was held on May 8 – and has come under some criticism, mainly from political parties, of impaired processes. On Friday, the IEC was served a legal notice from 27 parties, demanding a rerun of the election – and the appointment of an independent auditor. The IEC has since declined that request.


Disgruntled political parties (Text)



Section 57 of the Electoral Act outlines the role of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in the determination and declaration of the final results of an election.

In summary, the IEC must do as follows:

  • S57(1) – the commission must determine and declare the result of an election by adding together the results received from all voting stations.
  • Must announce the results within 7 days after voting, but not sooner than 21:00 on the second day after voting day (Friday) OR before all objections made under S55 (ie objections that might have a material impact on the final result) have been dealt with
  • The Commission may determine and declare the result, even if not all voting station results have been finalised – if the outstanding results would unduly and unreasonably delay the determination and declaration of the result – and the outstanding result will not materially influence the overall result of the election
  • If the Commission is not able to determine and declare the results of an election within the 7 day period, the Commission must apply to the Electoral Court for an extension.
  •  The Electoral Court may grant the Commission an extension of the 7 day period within which the result of an election must be determined and declared.