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The MDDA partnered with the IEC to reskill the sector on elections coverage.

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The upcoming South African National Elections that will be taking place on Wednesday 29 May 2024 are a significant milestone for the country’s 30 years of democracy. These Elections will be characterised by significant changes. As a result of amendments to legislation governing elections, voters will only be able to vote “anywhere” after notifying the IEC of the intent to such. Failing such notification voters will only vote where they are registered. Furthermore, voters will be faced with three ballots instead of the two in previous elections (NPE’s). Independents (individuals) may now contest National and Provincial Elections

For the first time since the first democratic elections in 1994, voters will have wider range of options in terms of the individuals or political parties they want to elect for the National and Provincial elections.

As part of its mandate, the MDDA’s mission is to empower and reskill the community and small commercial media sector with essential information and the right tools to
communicate with their audiences, made up of the historically disadvantaged communities and paint a clear picture of how this year’s voting system will work.

In preparation for the 2024 seventh (7th) National Elections, the Agency partnered with the IEC during the past year to implement Elections training programme aimed at enabling the community media sector to improve their coverage of the elections activities. Through this partnership, the sector will be taken through the Legislative Amendments (Electoral Act), Electoral Code of Conduct, Prohibited Conduct and Applicable Penalties, and Free and Fair Elections.

With only three weeks left till the National Elections day, the Agency is hosting its final leg of the elections capacity building programme by conducting elections readiness sessions starting on 17th of May with an online session focusing on IEC legislative amendments and announcements , followed by a roundtable discussion on the 20th May 2024 unpacking the importance of safety on election day, the role of the church in politics and the impact of political party messaging. The series of events will end with a full day workshop on focusing on fact-checking, verification and the impact of generative AI on journalistic content training session on 22nd May 2024.

“Elections are a critical part of democracy. They give power to voters to choose their leaders and hold them answerable for their performance and level of service in office. Further, elections enable people through voting the opportunity to express their views on current issues as well as their frustrations towards leaders who may be failing them. However, to vote efficiently and choose a party or leadership that will enable the fulfilment of an equitable society, voters need to know where candidates and parties stand on public policy issues.” Said Ms Shoeshoe Qhu, Chief Executive Officer of the MDDA.

 

For more information, contact the MDDA Communications unit, e-mail:
margaret@mdda.org.za /082 785 6071.
For more updates regarding MDDA related news and information, follow us on our
website and social media platforms:
Facebook: MDDA
Twitter: @MDDA_Media
Instagram: @MDDA_Media
For media releases, speeches and news visit the MDDA portal at
www.mdda.org.za
Issued by the Media Development and Diversity Agency.

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