325 parties contesting 2021 local government elections

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South Africa has 504 political parties currently registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), with 325 of these contesting the 2021 local government elections.

The vast majority of these small parties do not enjoy representation in the National Assembly and will be seeking to gain the trust of communities for the first time in their different wards. Others have a foothold amongst voters and will be looking to grow their support.

Formed in 2007,  Al-Jama-ah which has one seat in Parliament is hoping to win more wards in the local government elections as it did in recent by-elections when it won a ward from the DA in Lenesia. Amongst the campaigns, the party has been pursuing is the recognition of Muslim marriages, putting an end to gangsterism and corruption, and stimulating local economic development to create jobs.

“Al-Jama-ah is contesting 1000 wards in 27 municipalities in 7 provinces compared to the previous national elections in 2016 where we contested 5 municipalities with about 50 candidates,” says party leader and Johannesburg Mayoral Candidate, Ganief Hendricks.

Whilst the three-year-old Party of Action (POA) is not represented in the National Assembly, it says its party’s performance will shock many at the polls. The party says it boasts  300 000 members according to National Spokesperson, Obakeng Makale.

“We will surprise many with the results, we have registered seven municipalities, we have registered all of the wards with candidates and we will surprise many when the results come, we will have many candidates representing us, no more empty promises, now it is action time.”

Parties are campaigning ahead of the elections: 

Ashleigh Sauls is the Johannesburg Mayoral candidate for the Patriotic Alliance, which last year ended its coalition arrangement with the ANC in the Joburg Metro. The party, which was formed in 2013 scooped two key wards from the DA in Eldorado Park in recent by-elections and is hoping to continue on that trajectory in November.

“Based on that because of the inroads we are making, we are optimistic that we are going to win this thing and we are expecting an outright majority, the worst-case scenario, we will go under the coalition but not under 30 seats.”

Meanwhile, political party leaders from various political parties represented in the National Assembly will publicly pledge their commitment to the Code of Conduct on Friday. The code ensures that their candidates, members, and supporters, conduct themselves in a manner that is conducive to free and fair elections.