By Tessa Trafford
This year, South Africa enters into its fourth democratic election period. For several it will be a first-time voting experience, and what a daunting yet thrilling prospect that is. These elections, taking place on 22 April, are already shaping up to be the most interesting since 1994. For those of you who emerged from O-Week with alcohol-soaked brain cells and for those who genuinely don’t know, here is a time line of events for the 2009 elections.
Some of the events listed have come and gone, but are significant to the elections nonetheless and are therefore included.
10 January – The ANC launch their election manifesto in East London.
23 January – Cope launch their election manifesto in Port Elizabeth.
25 January – IFP launch their election manifesto in Soweto.
31 January – The DA announces their election campaign and reveal their new slogan.
2 February – Independent Democrats (ID) launch their election manifesto in Cape Town.
7/8 February – Final voter registration weekend, however people may still register at their local IEC offices.
9 February – Pretoria High Court rules that South Africans living abroad are allowed to vote but the case has been transferred to the Constitutional Court.
10 February – President Kgalema Motlanthe announces the 2009 election date as 22 April.
14 February – The DA launch their election manifesto in Soweto
20 February – The publication of voters roll reflects that over 23 million South Africans are registered to vote.
27 February – The final day to submit a VEC 10 form. This form enables you to vote if you will not be in the country during the elections.
2 March – The final day for political parties to submit their candidate lists.
16 March – An inspection of the lists of candidates takes place.
18 March – The cut off for objections to candidates.
1-14 April– Application for special voting opens.
3 April – The final list of parties and candidates to run in the election is released.
15 April – The casting of special votes.
22 April – South Africa’s fourth democratic general elections take place.