President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially proclaimed May 8 as the date of the general elections, touted as the most hotly contested polls since 1994. It is a little over two months to go before the election in which the opposition parties are hoping to push the ANC below 50% in provinces such as Gauteng and Northern Cape. The proclamation, which was signed by Ramaphosa on Monday and gazetted on Tuesday, marks the closure of the voters' roll and heralds in the official election timetable. Read the Government Gazette notice below:

The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said it would meet with the national party liaison committee on Wednesday before publishing the election timetable in the government gazette. It said the proposed election timetable spans the next 71 days and laid down the key dates and deadlines for various milestones until voting day.

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