Voting districts won by each party. Green: African National Congress; Blue: Democratic Alliance; Yellow: Congress of the People; Red: Inkatha Freedom Party; Orange: Independent Democrats; Purple: United Democratic Movement; Brown: other parties; Grey: tied between two or more parties.
This was the fourth general election held since the end of the apartheid era.
The North Gauteng High Court ruled on 9 February 2009 that South African citizens living abroad should be allowed to vote in elections. The judgment was confirmed by the Constitutional Court on 12 March 2009, when it decided that overseas voters who were already registered would be allowed to vote. Also, registered voters who found themselves outside their registered voting districts on election day were permitted to vote for the national ballot at any voting station in South Africa.
Subsequent to this, in 2008 Zuma's ongoing corruption trial in relation to a multi-billion Rand arms deal was dismissed by the courts, which insinuated that Mbeki had unduly influenced the investigation into Zuma. In light of the court's findings, the ANC's National Executive Committee asked Mbeki to resign as president of the country, which he duly did on 20 September 2008.
The recall of Mbeki, amongst other issues, created severe tensions and splits within the party, and eventually led to the formation of the Congress of the People, a new political party formed by former ANC members. Nevertheless, most pre-poll predictions gave the ANC between sixty and seventy per cent of the popular vote; even the lowest prediction, giving the ANC 47 per cent, still rendered it comfortably South Africa's most favoured political party.
A number of communities, organisations, social movements and well-known personalities threatened not to vote in the 2009 elections. The most well-known personality was Archbishop Desmond Tutu who at first said he would not vote but then changed his mind. South Africa's Poor People's Alliance, the Anti-Privatisation Forum, NOPE, and the independent farmworkers' union Sikhula Sonke resolved to boycott the election under the banner No Land! No House! No Vote!.
The darker shade indicates a majority, while the lighter shade indicates a non-majority plurality.
Map showing, for each municipality, the percentage point change in the ANC's share of the vote since the 2004 election
37.5–50 pp to the ANC
25–37.5 pp to the ANC
12.5–25 pp to the ANC
0–12.5 pp to the ANC
0–12.5 pp away from the ANC
12.5–25 pp away from the ANC
25–37.5 pp away from the ANC
37.5–50 pp away from the ANC
The ANC, which has been in power since 1994, obtained 65.90% of valid votes cast on the national ballot, making it just shy of being able to change the constitution.
Some 23-million people were registered for the 2009 general elections, which was about 2.5 million more than in 2004. There was a 77.3% turnout of registered voters, 1.34% of whom spoiled their ballots rendering them invalid. About 12-million people eligible to vote either did not register to vote (about 7-million), or did register but did not vote (5.4 million). In this election, there was a slight decrease in voter abstention though there was at least one high-profile election and registration boycotts campaign, the No Land! No House! No Vote! Campaign.
The Independent Electoral Commission made results available on their website as they were received from voting districts, filtered by national, provincial, municipality, and voting district.
The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) consists of 90 members, ten elected by each provincial legislature. The Members of NCOP have to be elected in proportion to the party membership of the provincial legislature.