84 new political parties hoping for your vote in May elections
South Africans will be spoilt for choice, with no fewer than 285 parties on the ballot paper when they take to the polls in May.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) announced on Thursday that it had received 47 political party applications, bringing the total of registered national political parties ahead of the elections to 285.
Speaking at the launch of the IEC’s election campaign in Midrand on Thursday, chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said the commission was processing a further 37 new applications - putting the number of new parties at 84.
"Over the past 18 months, the IEC has been hard at work laying the groundwork for this year’s elections. The first major task has been to update the voters’ roll in line with a ruling by the Constitutional Court," he said.
"We are also providing for a structured process for anyone, including political parties, to raise objections to people on the roll.
"There are also amendments that allow for the further use of technology to facilitate access to and interaction with the IEC."
Mamabolo said there has been a significant improvement in collecting the data of voters on the roll. In March 2016, the IEC had the addresses for only 8.4-million of the 26-million voters on the roll. He said that figure now stands at 21.5-million, which represents 83% of the total number of voters.
The final voter registration weekend is on January 26-27. South Africans are expected to go to the polls in May.