Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)

Head: Brigalia Bam (Chairperson)

The Independent Electoral Commission is a permanent body established by legislation to safeguard the constitutional rights of South Africans to vote in free and fair elections. The IEC was formed in 1993 in terms of the Constitution after negotiations opened the way for South Africa’s first democratic elections. The IEC’s objectives are:

  • To deliver free and fair elections in which all members of the electorate have the ability to make informed choices and exercise their rights to vote for their chosen parties;
  • and, to create a sustainable organisation with the ability to deliver an election for any level of government within six weeks.

Although the IEC is publicly funded and accountable to parliament, it is independent of the government.

The IEC’s role during the elections.

The brief of the IEC is to deliver regular, free and fair elections at all levels of government – national, provincial and local. It does this by:

  • Creating voting districts countrywide;
  • Managing all logistical arrangements for elections to be held;
  • Registering all eligible voters;
  • Ensuring the smooth running of the voting process; and,
  • Counting, verifying and anouncing election results.
 Electoral Institute of South Africa (EISA)

Head: Denis Kadima (Executive Director)

The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa is a non-profit organisation formed in 1996 that “strives for excellence in the promotion of credible elections, participatory democracy, human rights culture, and the strengthening of governance institutions for the consolidation of democracy in Africa.”

The institute’s vision is of an African continent where democratic governance, human rights and citizen participation are upheld in a peaceful environment.

South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR)

Head: John Kane-Berman (Chief Executive Officer)

The South African Institute of Race Relations is the leading independent research and policy organisation in South Africa. It was established in 1929 and has a “proud record of conducting and publishing cutting edge research and policy critiques”. The institute tracks trends in every area of South Africa’s development ranging from business and the economy, to crime, living conditions, and politics, compiling key data and analysis.

The SAIRR’s role during elections

Deputy Director Frans Cronje said: “We will keep doing what we do throughout the year. We will track trends regarding the elections.”

Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA)

Head: Paul Graham (Principal Officer)

The Institute for Democracy in South Africa is an independent public interest organisation committed to promoting sustainable democracy based on active citizenship, democratic institutions, and social justice. The Institute engages in projects and activities covering the widst spectrum of democratic transition and consolidation.

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Head: Olive Shisana (President and CEO)

The Human Sciences Research Council is a statutory body that carries out research aimed at promoting development nationally, in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and in Africa as a whole. The council has five research programmes focusing on various disciplines. One of these is the Democracy and Governance research programme headed by Dr Kwandi Kondlo. The HSRC is also responsible for the SA Social Attitudes Survey

The HSRC’s role during elections

The council is working with the IEC and conducting research on voter registration.