Research conducted by the Electoral Commission of South Africa has revealed important trends on the status of the country’s electoral democracy.
Trends based on 10 to 15 years of research – presented at a Research Seminar hosted by the Commission in Johannesburg on 21 September 2022 – revealed, among others, that:
- The Electoral Commission is the second most trusted public institution, with the courts being first.
- Ninety-two percent (92%) of the voting public consider that the electoral processes were free and fair.
- The majority of South Africans – 97% – have expressed satisfaction with the secrecy of their vote.
These are a few highlights of the research body of work that was presented at the seminar. Full research reports can be accessed at www.elections.org.za(link is external)
A number of scholars and academics presented the findings of their analysis of surveys conducted over the past decade or more. These surveys reflected changing long-term trends in voter perceptions, experiences and evaluations of the country’s electoral democracy over the past decade or more.
The presentations focussed on long-term changes in opinions and perceptions of the country’s electoral democracy, as well as the underlying causal factors.
In addition to sharing their findings and analyses of survey findings, the scholars also exchanged ideas with the Electoral Commission, partners and stakeholders on what could be done to improve trends in levels of voter perceptions and evaluations of the functioning of electoral democracy in South Africa. Present at the seminar were political parties, media, civil society, academics and researchers.
Sy Mamabolo, the Chief Electoral Officer, said: “The Commission will harness the positive elements arising from these longitudinal surveys while working with all the actors in the political system to address the negative perceptions about electoral democracy. Furthermore, identified challenges which are within the remit of the Commission will be factored into the electoral programme ahead of the 2024 elections.”Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.