The Electoral Commission says the significant increase in political parties contesting this year’s election, has considerably raised the cost of preparing for the elections.

Forty eight political parties will contest the May 8 national poll with over 600 contesting the nine provinces.

Political parties will on Wednesday sign the electoral code of conduct. Addressing the event in Midrand, North Johannesburg CEO of the IEC, Sy Mamabolo says they are ready to provide free and fair elections.

He adds that they have been working with an international organisation to train at least 1000 IEC officials to mitigate and deal with any violence that may arise during the voting process.

“The significant increase in the number of contesting parties have placed a perverse cost burden on the IEC. The Commission has been working with a european centre for electoral support on a project to prevent and mitigate and manage election-related conflict and potential violence. We have managed to train over 1000 individuals in leadership and conflict management in electoral processes. The electoral commission is on track and will deliver elections on May 8.”