Residents of Soweto queue up to cast their votes in South Africa's third democratic elections April 2004

VISION STATEMENT To strengthen constitutional democracy through the delivery of free and fair elections in which every voter is able to record his or her informed choice.

MISSION STATEMENT The Independent Electoral Commission is a permanent body created by the Constitution to promote and safeguard democracy in South Africa. Although publicly funded and accountable to parliament, the Commission is independent of the government. Its immediate task is the impartial management of free and fair elections at all levels of government.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES To deliver free and fair elections in which all members of the electorate have the ability to make informed choices and exercise their rights to vote for their chosen parties. To create a sustainable organisation with the ability to deliver an election for any level of government within six weeks.

BACKGROUND The negotiations leading to a political settlement in South Africa resulted inter alia in the establishment of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in terms of the provisions of the 1993 Constitution. Sixteen high-profile individuals (eleven local and five from abroad) were appointed as commissioners. The mandate of this Commission was to conduct South Africa's first fully democratic elections, at the national level for both chambers of parliament (the Senate and the National Assembly) and at the provincial level for legislatures for all nine new provinces. Elections were held on 26-29 April 1994 under a system of proportional representation. The newly constituted parliament had a special mandate to sit as a Constitutional Assembly and draft a new Constitution for the Republic of South Africa. The Constitution adopted on 8 May and amended on 11 October 1996 replaced the interim constitution of 1993 and provided for the establishment of a new permanent Electoral Commission as one of six state institutions supporting constitutional democracy.


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