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IEC: Registration of new political parties ahead of elections not new

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Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), released a list of newly registered political parties.

Granville Abrahams from the IEC told Political Analysis South Africa on Tuesday, 24 April 2018 that the surge in new political parties being registered can be attributed to the upcoming general elections.

He says that although political parties may be eligible for registration with the IEC it does not mean they are automatically eligible to contest elections.

“There’s a clear trend that ahead of an election we have a proliferation of applications whether it’s ahead of a national or provincial election, or a local government election,” he said.

“The registration process does not necessarily mean that…they will contest because there are requirements for a political party to contest elections. At national and provincial level… the bar is set a bit higher than at a local level,” he added.

Abrahams says the South African constitution provides for political rights, and that includes setting up a political party. Whether or not the party gains political power in the form of votes during elections is up to its appeal to voters, as well as electioneering and campaigning.

Below are some of the parties that have recently registered with the IEC:

Aboriginal Khoisan (AKS)

According to AKS leader, Smaule Steenkamp, the aim of AKS is to uplift Khoisan people across Southern Africa. Steenkamp believes that they [Khoisan] have been marginalised and need to be empowered through self governance. The Northern Cape based party however is still undecided as to whether it will contest in next years general elections as its still gathering funds.

Website: To be confirmed

African Democratic Change (ADeC)

ADec says it exists to fill in a “political void.” It says the void was created “as a result of parties that are either disintegrating or lack the capacity to capture the trust and support of a big cross-section of society.” The party has gone through some troubles recently after its leader, Mkhosi Khoza, resigned earlier this month. It is still unclear whether or not it will contest next year’s election

Website: adec.org.za

African Renaissance Unity (ARU)

Lead by amaHlubi King, Mthimkhulu III, ARU says it represents South Africans, Traditional Communities and the Traditional Leadership. It hopes to restore the dignity of South Africans through traditional values and their traditional leadership. As a founding principle ARU also aims to “achieve the unity of the people of South Africa.”

Website: To be confirmed

Socialist Party of the Republic of South Africa (SPORSA)

Guided by the principles of socialism, SPORSA aims to empower workers and poor of the country. Bongane Eubeth Mhaule, who is the leader of SPORSA, told Political Analysis South Africa that currently there is no political party that places the interests of the workers as a priority. By becoming a political formation, the party aims to rectify this by being the voice of the working class.

Website: To be confirmed

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