Countdown to SA polls in May
WITH UP to 270 registered parties vying to contest the 2019 general elections, the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) says it needs to ensure they meet all the requirements.
The elections have been set down for May and the final voter registration weekend will be the end of January.
IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said the number of registered parties was not yet final as more parties were expected to register.
“The election has not yet been proclaimed, therefore we have no indication of which parties will in actual fact contest the event, although all of the registered parties are eligible provided they submit their candidates and pay the requisite deposit,” Bapela said.
A large number of small parties are expected to register. A recent entrant is the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) which was given the go-ahead to function as a political party.
According to the IEC, there is no specific number of votes attached to a seat.
Instead, the minimum number of votes required per seat is calculated in terms of a quota that is dependent on the voter turnout in an election.
In a report tabled before Parliament in September, the IEC allocated R133 million for the 2017 financial year and said 90% of this was based on proportional representation, with 10% allocated equally among the parties.
The ANC received R79m from the IEC in the last financial year, the DA was allocated R28m and the EFF R10m.
The IFP received R3.7m, the National Freedom Party R2m with the Freedom Front Plus obtaining R1.9m.
A report by Afrobarometer last week showed that the majority of South Africans are willing to give the ANC another chance at governing the country, while the DA has lost support.
The survey noted an increase in support for the EFF and a decline in intention to vote for the ANC among the youth and the DA’s white voters.
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga has cast doubt on whether the parties will score big. He said more parties are expected to enter the polls, with the ANC losing more votes.
“I don’t see the ANC able to turn things around. As the state capture inquiry keeps going ahead, the ANC keeps looking bad,” said Mathekga.
Mathekga said the EFF, which has shown growth in membership, mostly among young people, was likely to earn more seats in Parliament. FORMER ANC North West leader Supra Mahumapelo has warned that the battle to overturn the disbandment of the provincial leadership is far from over.
The axed provincial chairperson, who stepped down as North West’s Premier early this year, yesterday said that despite the South Gauteng High Court’s ruling that the application he and four others brought was “not urgent”, they had already instructed their lawyers to ensure that it goes back on the court roll.
The group has, among other things, accused the ruling party’s national executive committee (NEC) of meting out unfair treatment against their province. They maintain that when the top leadership took a decision to dissolve the provincial executive committee (PEC) four months ago, it failed to consider a number of issues and instead “cut corners in dealing with complex matters”.
Shortly after court had adjourned, Mahumapelo said their target was now the next national general council – a platform he said they would use without “winking”, to raise their qualms.
“It is not our own insistence that we come here (to court), we were forced by circumstances. If the matter is not sorted out now, the national general council (NGC) will (sort it).
“Our hope is that the NGC will resolve these issues so the future NEC does not have to cut corners when they deal with this.”
He lashed out at those who he said sought to settle scores post the Nasrec conference. He further raised discontent with the manner he said the NEC has been running its affairs since December last year.
Mahumapelo used the opportunity to lament the fact that unlike in other provinces, provisions were not made by the top structure to employ a task team to their province, saying that it doesn’t work when the rules of the game are changed where the North West was concerned.
In its court submission, the ANC said there was no basis for Mahumapelo to submit the matter as urgent, or for him to apply as the fifth applicant, but advocate Dali Mpofu contended that his client had the right to choose his legal representative, adding it appeared that the ANC sought to deny him (Mahumapelo) his right to legal representation.
“If Mahumapelo has decided to associate himself with the applicants there is nothing that the other side can do,” Mpofu said.
In also highlighting the urgency of the matter, Mpofu told the court that the case was a serious one that warranted urgent attention as it dealt with “weighty issues of constitutional importance”, ones he said might end up at the Constitutional Court.
But his submissions did not hold water as the high court struck the case off the roll. The continuous trend for provincial parties to haul their mother body to court over structural matters is not new but is a growing phenomenon. Last year, then secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe said the justice system would be there all the time and that in the event of court cases, the ANC would be readily available to deal with them.
National spokesperson Pule Mabe failed to respond to questions on the ANC’s view about the North West PEC matter.
Meanwhile, outside the high court, party members from the North West chanted songs while holding placards that called for the PEC structure to be reinstated.