‘Parties given adequate time to comply with signature requirements’

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The Electoral Commission (IEC) says political parties have been given adequate time to comply with the signature requirements to contest the elections.

The IEC briefed the media on Monday at its headquarters in Centurion, where it outlined milestones related to the 2024 national and provincial elections.

The elections timetable follows the gazetting of the 29th of May as the date for elections.

The Commission says the timetable, published on the 24th of February, was drafted in consultation with registered political parties and relates to the cut-off dates and times of key activities for registered citizens and election contestants.

IEC Commissioner Nomsa Masuku responded to complaints about the time allocated for parties to collect prescribed signatures.

“Political parties which are currently unrepresented in Parliament are required to submit signatures equal to 15% of the quota of votes required for a seat in the previous elections in order to qualify to contest next year’s polls. This means such a political party will need a minimum of approximately 11 000 signatures in a sparsely populated province such as the Northern Cape and around 15 000 in densely populated Gauteng.”

“The portal for capturing signatures has been open for a bit of time it was actually opened on the 26th of January 2024 so contestants have had quite some time to begin the process so anyone who is preparing to contest the process should know that once an election date is proclaimed. The train starts moving because we have a timetable, it’s almost like a moving train and you can’t stop, so I don’t think it is an excuse that the timetable has caught people by surprise.”

In the related video below, Rivonia Circle, Build One SA challenge signature requirements for new political parties: