Political parties wishing to contest the 2019 National election were required to pay the IEC a deposit of R200 000. Additional deposits were required for each provincial election they contested. These deposits are returned if the political party gains at least one seat in the respective legislature. Most (34 of the 48) parties competing in the contest for National Assembly seats failed to secure a single seat and thus forfeit their deposit.

Parties among the 34 include Black Land First (BLF), both the Socialist Revolution Workers Party (SRWP) and the SA capitalist Party (ZACP), AGANG, AZAPO, ICOSA, Minority Front (MF) and the Forum for Service Delivery (F4SD).

Deposits for participating in provincial Elections were a mere R45 000 for each province.  In those elections, all but 12 of the 78 parties lost their deposits.

The elections were budgeted to cost R1.2-billion – the cost incurred by the IEC in running the election amount to an average of almost R1.4-million per seat in the legislatures. This amounts to about R70 for each person who voted.