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Welcome to the SANEF Elections 2019 Portal.

Through this portal you can ① access the South Africa 2019 Elections: Handbook for Journalists; ② report threats or intimidation to SANEF suffered during the 2019 election period; or ③ receive guidance on where to get urgent assistance for threats, intimidation or violence against journalists.

If you would like to contribute resources to this portal, please e-mail SANEF.


22.03.2019: Read IEC Press Release: Voters’ Roll Certified For National and Provincial Elections 2019

22.03.2019: Read Press Release by Social Surveys Institute, Open Up and Grassroot Partnership: Big Debate Poll Says South Africans Still Have Faith in Politicians

20.03.2019: Read Speech of Election Readiness by IEC Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Sy Mamabolo

20.03.2019: Read IEC Press Statement: Parties Pledge Commitment to the Electoral Code of Conduct

20.03.2019: Read IEC Press Statement on the Record Number of Political Parties Which Will Contest the 2019 National and Provincial Elections

18.03.2019: Read IEC Media Invitation on Signing of the Code of Conduct Pledge

14.03.2019: Read Press Release by Social Surveys Institute, Open Up and Grassroot Partnership: Big Debate Poll Says South Africans Want Land Nationalised

12.03.2019: Read the IEC Media Release: Final Day for Parties Wishing to Contest in National and Provincial Elections 2019

11.03.2019: View the 2019 National and Provincial Elections Timetable

07.03.2019: Read MMA Presentation on Solutions to Combat Disinformation for 2019 Elections

07.03.2019: Read IEC Media Statement: One Week Left for Applicants to Vote Aboard

07.03.2019: Read IEC presentation on the National and Provincial Elections 2019: The Role of the Media in Free and Fair Elections

07.03.2019: Read ACHPR Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa

07.03.2019: Read ICASA’s 2019 Presentation on National and Provincial Elections Coverage on Television and Radio

07.03.2019: Read the IEC – Commencement of 2019 Electoral Laws Amendment Act and Updated Timetable

04.03.2019: The Real 411, an online portal to report disinformation, has launched. The Real 411 is a Media Monitoring Africa initiative.

28.02.2019: South Africa sees four men for every one woman whose opinion is quoted in the media: during the run-up to elections, it’s seven men for every one woman. Read the Quote a Women Project – Concept Note

27.02.2019: Read the IEC – Presentation on Preparations for the 2019 National and Provincial Elections (27 February 2019)

27.02.2019: Voting aboard is scheduled for Saturday, 27 April 2019. Read the IEC – Communique on Voting Abroad in the 2019 National Election (26 February 2019).

27.02.2019: The President has officially set Wednesday, 8 May 2019 as the election day. Read the Proclamation of the Election Date (25 February 2019).

27.02.2019: The SANEF Elections 2019 Portal has launched!

① South African 2019 Elections: Handbook for Journalists

Published by: South African National Editors’ Forum

Date of publication: 27 February 2019

This handbook – prepared for the upcoming 2019 general election in South Africa – is aimed at assisting members of the media to fulfil this constitutional mandate.  In doing so, it provides both the legal underpinnings that apply to the media, as well as practical guidance to ensure that the task of election coverage is fulfilled effectively.  Although it focuses specifically on the legal framework for the national and provincial elections, it is hoped that the content and guidance contained in this handbook will be of broader relevance to members of the media beyond the scope of the upcoming elections.

Module I provides an overview of how elections in South Africa work, including the system of voting, election milestones and key institutions governing elections.  Module II highlights specific aspects relevant to the media during elections, including the applicable legal and self-regulatory frameworks, the publication of opinion polls and practical guidance for journalists on the ground.  Module III addresses the issue of so-called ‘fake news’ during the elections, and possible strategies that members of the media can follow to address the negative impact that this can have on the outcome of the elections.  Lastly, Module IV considers the safety of journalists, both on- and offline, and the measures that journalists can take to protect their rights.

South Africa 2019 Elections: Handbook for Journalists by the South African National Editors’ Forum is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Download the SANEF Handbook (1.8mb).

Download the Elections Training Presentation (1.3mb).

> Go to Module 1: How the Elections Work

Video Resources








② Report threats or intimidation to SANEF


0 reported incidents

Please Note

This reporting mechanism is being administered by SANEF for the purposes of collecting information and reporting on threats and / or intimidation that journalists receive during the 2019 Elections Period. If you require urgent assistance, please click here. SANEF is unable to act on urgent matters.Your personal information will only be used for the intended purpose of reporting and will not be publicly disclosed, without your consent.

Thank you for taking the time to fill out the incident report. Please ensure that you’ve clicked “Submit Incident Report to SANEF”.

③ Get urgent assistance

For urgent assistance, please contact the South African Police Service on 10111 or lodge complaints with the South African Human Rights Commission or the Independent Electoral Commission. For additional assistance, you can access the CPJ South Africa Election Safety for Journalists Toolkit.

Report a matter to the South African Police Service (SAPS)

In the event that a member of the media is facing any form of threat or violence, this must be reported to the South African Police Service as a matter of urgency, as the appropriate authority tasked with handling criminal matters.

All members of the media are encouraged to prioritise their safety and the safety of those around them, put in place necessary measures for protection, and seek appropriate assistance from colleagues, friends and family, and the designated bodies that can assist.

Lodge a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)

A complaint may also be lodged with the South African Human Rights Commission in accordance with the Complaints Handling Procedures (1 January 2018).  The South African Human Rights Commission is competent to investigate any alleged violation of human rights, either on its own initiative or on receipt of a complaint, and has a wide discretion to decide whether to investigate a complaint or not.

Report a matter to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)

During the election period, the IEC should be approached with any matter that falls within its jurisdiction as a contravention of the electoral law framework.  For example, section 8 of he Electoral Code of Conduct requires candidates to respect the role of the media during elections, including by not preventing members of the media from accessing public political meetings, marches, demonstrations and rallies.  It further provides that every party and candidate must take all reasonable steps to ensure that journalists are not subjected to harassment, intimidation, hazard, threat or physical assault by any of their representatives or supporters.  In the event that a registered party or candidate does not adhere to these provisions, this should be brought to the attention of the Commission as a breach of the Electoral Code of Conduct.

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