Election facts: what you need to know

The IEC must announce the final results and seat allocation for metropolitan and local councils within seven days of election day.

Half the council seats are allocated to ward councillors and the others to political parties, based on the results of the proportional representation (PR) paper.

The PR allocation takes into account how many ward seats a party has already won, to ensure that the final number of seats a party has does not exceed the percentage of the vote that they won. As the IEC explains, for example, if a party has won 50 percent of the wards and 50 percent of the PR votes, then that party will not win any proportional seats.

When the voting has been counted and people get back to life and reality, said Courtney Sampson, the Western Cape’s chief electoral officer, the aftermath of the election is that after all the campaigning and political debate “we will still be South Africans”.

“It’s an election, not a war and we cannot do damage to our national pride – we need to work together. National pride remains imperative and our patriotism must not suffer.”

He added: “We will all have read of the negativity and the criticism and the alienation of some communities and voting dishonestly (giving for example a fraudulent address) is a disgrace.

“We fail sometimes as a nation to be grateful for what we have achieved. And in the end there are those among us who struggle in their daily survival. The candidates and the electorate need to be mindful they are the ones seeking the justice.”

* For more information visit www.elections.org.za or call 0800 11 8000, between 7am and 9pm. Calls to this number are free from a landline.