New parties on political agenda
Patricia de Lille’s GOOD and Irwin Jim’s SRWP, will be seeking seats in Parliament alongside established groups
NEW political parties are gearing up for the elections.
The African Transformation Movement (ATM), African Content Movement (ACM), Black First Land First (BLF), Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP) and the GOOD party, are some of the groups which hope to secure seats in Parliament alongside the ANC, DA and EFF.
◆ THE newly formed GOOD party is expected to announce its national leadership in the next few days. Former Cape Town mayor and founder of the party, Patricia de Lille said its policy position would be unveiled at the launch where the national leadership would be announced, possibly on January 20. In December the party counted 60 000 supporters and had now set up a national office in Cape Town.
◆ SRWP national convener and Numsa secretary-general Irvin
Jim said his party’s target was members of trade unions and federations and would serve the interests of the working class.
“The wealth of the country will be used for the benefit of all, and not just a wealthy elite. We are, therefore, in fact the only party fighting for genuine democracy.
All other political parties, without exception, are asking some kind of compromise with capitalism, we are not,” Jim said.
Other hopefuls include:
◆ Hlaudi Motsoeneng who is building on the momentum of his 90% local content drive as he sets his new political party African Content Movement (ACM) in motion. “I was encouraged by the bold decisions I took at the SABC to change the lives of ordinary people… I still want to pursue what I pursued at the SABC, but now I am going to pursue all these (other) issues,” said Motsoeneng. One of ACM’s radical decisions would be regulating how foreign investors do business in SA. “Our minerals must be owned by South Africans. But we can partner with them so they transfer skills to our people,” he said.
◆ Former government spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi is adamant his appearance before the Commission of Inquiry into
State Capture will not cost his new party votes. Manyi recently threw his weight behind the
ATM. Manyi said he was there to dispel claims that millions were channelled to Gupta-owned media entities during his tenure as chief executive of Communication and
Information System (GCIS).
◆ BLF president Andile Mngxitama is steadfast on the party’s “black first” policy and promises to put black people first if the party secures seats in Parliament. Mngxitama said the constitution doesn’t advance black people’s cause. “We want a constitution which will recognise that this country belongs to us - black first. Everyone else who is here will stay or live under the terms set by the black majority. Our job is to change the whole constitutional dispensation,” said Mngxitama. “They (ANC) decided to compromise and that is the unforgivable betrayal of black people. The ANC accepted the compromise as the end of the (liberation) struggle, and that is why when (former president) Jacob Zuma started the process of Radical Economic Transformation he was kicked out.” Mngxitama, lamented the absence of an organisation that advances Black Consciousness Movement thinking. “The problem is that there is no sound black consciousness organisation.” He hit out at the ANC and EFF, saying they use the land hunger to “expropriate peoples’ votes without compensation”. He said it would be difficult for the two parties to implement land expropriation without compensation because they are in the pockets of land owners.“There’ll be expropriation of votes of the landless. Parliament will shut down and they’ll publish a Bill (and) will not amend Section 25 of the Constitution to enable land expropriation because both parties are in the pockets of land owners. They are playing a political game…”
The Western Cape has the largest number of registered political parties with 106 and “still counting”, according to provincial Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) head, Courtney Sampson.
However, only political parties who had paid a deposit of R200 000 were eligible to participate in the national elections and R45 000 for provincial elections.
In preparation for the elections, voter registration would get underway on January 25-26.
Despite representing over 50% of the population, aged under 30 have the lowest levels of voter registration.
Only 16 % of young people across the country are already registered.
Sampson said IEC officials would also be deployed at tertiary institutions February 5-7 to help with voter registration.
Already student bodies, the EFF Student Command (EFFSC) and the SA Students’ Congress started with canvassing support for political parties during the student registration process and confirmed that this would be stepped up in the coming weeks.
Voter registration for South Africans living abroad will also take place February 1-4 at 121 foreign missions.
Registration of inmates is also planned for January 22-23.
When registering, voters will also need to provide their address or a description of where they live.
PATRICIA DE LILLE