500 Political parties to contest 2019 elections

Professor Tinyiko Maluleke
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it’s received a number of applications by new political parties to contest the 2019 general elections.

The IEC Chief Electoral officer, Sy Mamabolo, says thus far about 15 new political parties have registered, bringing the total number of parties to contest the polls to about 500.

The IEC says it’s continued to receive more applications from new political parties that are geared to contest the general elections next year.

Mamabolo says the Commission is implementing plans to deliver successful elections.

Political Analyst Professor Tinyiko Maluleke says it is not surprising that more new political parties are being formed and registered, as the country approaches the 2019 general elections.

Maluleke says however that some of the newly-formed parties have a narrow political vision.

“Well we see it every elections…  that every elections seems to be like a light in the darkness which attracts all manner of flying insects. New political parties emerge from the woods,  so I am not surprised that we are seeing emergence of new political parties. Many of them with very narrow visions intended to capture a local voting public rather than national voting public.”

One of the 15 political parties that have registered with the IEC is the Gazankulu Liberation Congress. Party President Wilson Seseni, says allegations of corruption in government, poor service delivery and nepotism are some of the issues that have prompted the formation of the party.

Seseni says the name of the party has nothing to do with tribalism. The apartheid government used the name Gazankulu to classify the then homeland in which predominantly Xitsonga-speaking people were staying.

Seseni says the name doesn’t suggest that the party is regional. “ We are not going back there… the name was able to enjoy the majority in terms of reaction, but then as I say, we are a nationalist organisation which has got no element of tribalism whatsoever… Gazankulu it’s just a name, its like when you say Inkatha, I don’t think the reason for tribalism can stand on this name honestly.”

Maluleke says however that the naming of the new political party may be an attempt to re-do what Ximoko party has failed to do.

“I must say that am little surprised… why they would use that kind of name, which basically references an old Bantustan name? But that said, we must remember that names remain virtually unchanged, and continue to be referred to in all manner of ways. The best example being Venda… this party is trying to do what Ximoko has been trying to do… trying to appeal to some elements in that region which hankers on aspect of Bantustan life.”

The new party will have a lot to do in terms of canvassing for votes as some of residents in the Giyani area said that they haven’t heard of the newly formed party.