Shortly after 17H00 on Wednesday, South Africans will know which political parties will be contesting the 8 May national and provincial elections.

According to the election timetable, only those registered political parties which have paid their deposits and submitted candidate lists by 17H00 on 13 March 2019 will be allowed to contest the elections.

As at 09H00 today 22 political parties had paid their deposits and 12 had submitted candidate lists. Approximately 34 parties had indicated their intention of contesting.

South Africa has seen a steady increase in the number of political parties contesting national elections since 1999:

Election Year Number of parties contesting national ballot Number of parties which won representation in the National Assembly
1999 16 13
2004 21 12
2009 27 13
2014 29 13

 

Parties contesting both national and provincial elections are required to pay a deposit of R200 000 for the national ballot and R45 000 for each provincial ballot. The deposit is refunded in full to parties which win at least one seat in each legislature they contest. The deposits of parties which fail to secure a seat are forfeited to the National Revenue Fund. The submission of candidate lists and payment of deposits is largely done electronically these days using the Online Candidate Nomination System.

Lists must contain no more than 400 candidates for the national election and no more than the total number of representatives for each provincial legislature.

Once tomorrow’s deadline has passed, the Electoral Commission will have until 19 March to advise parties of any non-compliance in respect of candidate lists which must be rectified by 25 March.

The election timetable also provides an opportunity for the Electoral Commission to notify parties of any candidates appearing on lists of other parties by 26 March. The affected parties have until 28 March to submit substitutes for these candidates.

The final list of candidates will be published on 29 March.

ISSUED BY THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION