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Our series on the 2024 South African elections

South Africans vote in a pivotal election on May 29.

- May 25, 2024

On May 29, South Africans voted in the seventh election since the end of political apartheid in the early 1990s. This was the first election in which the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), polled below 50% ahead of the election. That could force the ANC into a coalition with one or more other parties to govern the country after the election.

We published interviews with political scientists whose research examines South African politics to share their insights on this pivotal election:

  1. To get an overview of the election and its implications, read Daniel de Kadt’s post-election report, detailing that while everything has changed, nothing is different. De Kadt is an assistant professor of quantitative research methods at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the author of many articles on South African electoral politics. 
  2. Read the piece that launched the series in which Joshua Tucker interviewed Daniel de Kadt. In it, de Kadt tells us why this election is so pivotal, the key figures and parties involved, and the complexities of South Africa’s electoral system.
  3. An interview with Carolyn Holmes focused on race and campaigning, potential for electoral violence, and youth political engagement. Holmes is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the author of The Black and White Rainbow: Reconciliation, Opposition, and Nation-Building in Democratic South Africa (University of Michigan Press, 2020).
  4. An interview with Shelley Liu focused on misinformation and disinformation in the South African elections. Liu is an assistant professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and the author of Governing After War: Rebel Victories and Post-war Statebuilding (Oxford University Press, 2024).
  5. An interview with Beth Wellman discussed a key issue in this year’s election: immigration. We also talk about her research on diaspora voting. Wellman is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Memphis.