in South Africa
Since transferring to democracy in 1994, South Africa has used a nationwide
closed party-list system of
proportional representation. Parliament seats are apportioned to each
party according to the proportion of votes each party received nationwide.
The MPs and executive officials for each party are taken from a nationwide list
as well as district lists.
On April 14, 2004, South Africa held its third nationwide election. The
African National Congress party won a majority of votes and will therefore
control parliament, as they have since 1994. Other parties will also be
represented in parliament and even in the executive branch, however, because in
its constitution South Africa rejects winner-take-all in favor of proportional
Visit the links below to read more about South Africa's government, political
climate, and elections.
The Star (SA): "More
women clinching top posts." The party-list
PR system has led to great strides in women's representation in the South
African Government. (April 21, 2004)
JTA News (NYC): "Party
led by Jewish politician does well in South African elections." The PR
system allows greater religious diversity in parliament, in the midst of
vigorous national argument. (April 18, 2004)
Business Report (SA): "For
the sake of democracy, opposition to the ANC must come from the left."
Author advocates a stronger ideological challenge to the ANC's policies, a
movement that is possible under South Africa's multiparty political landscape. (April
Mail and Guardian (SA): "ANC
takes Kwa-Zulu Natal Province as final votes are tallied."
The party founded by Nelson Mandela has won a plurality in all nine provinces,
but PR will guarantee that other parties' voices are heard in Parliament as
well. (April 17, 2004)
Mail and Guardian (SA): "Nine
parties set for parliament." South Africa's newly elected
parliament will include nine of the 21 parties contesting the April 14 national
election. (April 15, 2004)
Washington Post: "South African voters stick
with ANC." Polling station lines snaked across the landscape as South
Africans chose the ANC as the nation's top party again. (April
Pretoria News: "Despite
hassles, election was free and fair." Minor problems in the April 14
election were reported. (April 15, 2004)
i-africa: "Prisoners vote for solutions
to crime." Even prison inmates enjoy the franchise in South Africa
since a constitutional change in 2004. (April 14, 2004)
Washington Post: "Despite deep
woes, democracy instills hope." In the midst of myriad social problems,
South Africans of all races adapt to democracy. (March 31,
Andrew Reynolds's 1995
analysis of South Africa's first democratic national election, which was
included in CVD's 1995 Voting and
Other informative sites
The Mail and Guardian is South Africa's
main weekly paper.
The Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) features South
Africa as a case study
in proportional representation.