• Business Insider South Africa looked back at elections posters in the country since the 1994 general elections.
  • A poster collector believes election posters today are blander than they were then. 
  • Most parties chose generic head-and-shoulders photos for the election posters this year. 

This year's election posters are uncreative, says James Findlay, Johannesburg antique maps and poster gallery owner. He has been collecting election posters for more than two decades.

He said most political parties chose “bland conservative head and shoulders” photos of leaders for posters - and were much less creative than in the first democratic elections.

“Political parties no longer make use of posters and billboards as their primary focus in their campaigning drive. Multimedia has usurped the once visceral art form,” Findlay told Business Insider South Africa. 

“At arguably our most crucial of elections since the 1994 birth of our democracy, now more than ever should the poster campaigns have been creative.” 

Also read: 'White people caused cyclone Idai.': A new campaign uses wild election claims to encourage SA to vote

Findlay believes that the EFF beat the competition when it comes to poster design by portraying its leader Julius Malema in a similar fashion to Che Guevara who helped lead the Cuban revolution. 

"He portrayed himself the protagonist in some dictatorial theatre production," Findlay said. "I can’t help thinking that many a voter might cast their ballot for JuJu just because he’s the most charismatic show in town." 

“There is also propaganda-like call to action by the ideological EFF’s ‘our land and jobs’ [slogan]. Is there anything more emotive for the disenfranchised majority of voters?” 

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Business Insider South Africa looked back at the country’s election posters since 1994. 

1994: The dawn of democracy, ANC promising land and the NP tried to woo isiZulu voters 

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(Source: Unisa)
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1999: The relaunch of the NP, Thabo Mbeki for president, and the rise of the DP.  

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2004: Gandhi apparently would've voted ANC, UDM slams unemployment, and DP says we deserve better 

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2009: The DP rebrands as the DA and aims to stop the Zuma-presidency, while Cope takes part in first election 

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - 23 April 2009: ANC su
(Photo by Gallo Images/Foto24)

2014: EFF takes part in first election and Helen Zille hangs from street poles. 

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA ? APRIL 24: DA leader Hele
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2019: The rise of Cyril Ramaphosa, De Lille deserts the DA and the VF+ aims to 'fight back'. 

(Gallo images, Jaco Marais)
(Gallo images, Jaco Marais)
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  • Find everything you need to know about the 2019 National and Provincial Government Elections, go to the News24 Elections site.

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