Electoral Commission on 2016 municipal elections

8 Jun 2016

Pan Africanist Movement to top PR ballot papers for 2016 municipal elections

The Pan Africanist Movement will top the Proportional Representation (PR) ballot papers in all municipalities where it is contesting in the 2016 Municipal Elections after it was randomly drawn from a list of 206 parties contesting the elections.

All other parties will follow in alphabetical order. In municipalities where the Pan Africanist Movement is not contesting the elections, the next party in alphabetical order will appear at the top of the ballot paper.

The draw applies only to ballot papers for the PR element of the municipal elections – namely PR ballots for councils (printed with a yellow background) and District Council PR ballot (printed with a green background). Ballot papers for ward candidates (printed with a white/grey background) are traditionally in alphabetical order according to the surname of candidates.

The use of a random draw to select the party which will top the ballot paper has been the established practice for all elections over the past 21 years of democracy in South Africa as the fairest way to choose the order of the ballot paper.

South African has seen a relatively steady growth in the number of political parties contesting municipal elections since 2000. In that year, there were a total of 79 political parties which contested the various municipalities. Six years later that number grew 23% to 97 – and it grew a further 25% between 2006 and 2011.

The 2016 Municipal Elections will see a record number of political parties contesting the 8 metropolitan municipalities, 205 local municipalities and 44 district councils. A total of 204 political parties submitted candidate lists by last week’s deadline – almost 69% more than the 122 which contested in 2011.

The Western Cape will have the highest number of parties contesting (77) followed by Limpopo (56), Gauteng (45) and the Eastern Cape (43). The smallest number of parties will contest in the Northern Cape (18).

The provincial breakdown of parties contesting in 2016 and comparison to 2011 is as follows:


Number of Parties

2016 Municipal Elections

2011 Municipal Elections

Eastern Cape



Free State















North West



Northern Cape



Western Cape



The metropolitan council with the longest PR ballot paper will be the Western Cape with 37 parties. The shortest metro will be Buffalo City in the Eastern Cape with 10 parties. The following is a list of the number of parties contesting the metro councils:

Metropolitan Council

Parties Contesting

BUF - Buffalo City


CPT - City of Cape Town


EKU - Ekurhuleni


ETH - eThekwini


JHB - City of Johannesburg


MAN - Mangaung


NMA - Nelson Mandela Bay


TSH - Tshwane Metro


Mock PR ballot papers for these metros showing the order of political parties based on today’s draw are available on the Electoral Commission website at www.elections.org.za

Four municipalities in the Eastern Cape (EC102 - Blue Crane Route; EC123 - Great Kei; EC126 – Ngqushwa; EC131 - Inxuba Yethemba) share the shortest PR ballot paper with just three parties contesting each municipality.

While the Electoral Commission is still in the process of validating the various candidate nominations received by the deadline, indications are that there will be approximately 970 independent candidates who will contest these elections. In 2006 there were 663 independent candidates. This grew to 774 in 2011.

So far more than 66 000 candidates have been captured as part of the nomination submission process. Most encouragingly, nearly 57% of these (about 38 000) were submitted electronically using the Electoral Commission’s new Online Candidate Nomination System.

Political parties and independent candidates will be informed by Monday 13 June of any outstanding documentation and will have one week to rectify any non-compliance with the administrative requirements for nomination.

The final issuing of certificates to contesting parties and candidates will take place on 1 July 2016 after which the printing of ballot papers will begin. There are a total of 4 649 unique ballot papers for the 2016 Municipal Elections:

  • 4 392 ward ballot papers
  • 205 local council PR ballot papers
  • 8 metro council PR ballot papers
  • 44 District Council ballot papers

Voters in metros will complete two ballot papers and voters in all other municipalities will complete three ballot papers. The Electoral Commission plans to print approximately 80 million copies of ballot papers to ensure sufficient ballots for all voters.

For media queries, please contact:
Kate Bapela
Cell: 082 600 6386

For media interviews:
E-mail: spokesperson@elections.org.za

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