Roger Jardine-led party, Change Starts Now will not contest 2024 elections

01 March 2024 - 07:44
By Khanyisile Ngcobo
Roger Jardine's Change Starts Now party will not contest this year's general elections. File photo.
Image: Veli Nhlapo Roger Jardine's Change Starts Now party will not contest this year's general elections. File photo.

Barely three months after its launch and a week after it unveiled its election manifesto, Change Starts Now (CSN) announced it will not contest the 2024 elections.

The party founded by businessman Roger Jardine  confirmed the news on Thursday.

This follows a ruling by the Constitutional Court in December on the Electoral Amendment Act.

The court upheld a challenge by One Movement South Africa, the organisation that gave rise to the Build One South Africa party that the 15% signature quota required for independent candidates to contest elections is unconstitutional. The court ordered this provision be replaced by the requirement of 1,000 signatures.

It also dismissed an application by the Independent Candidates Association which wanted the number of National Assembly seats independent candidates can contest in the general elections increased from 200 to 350.

CSN said while it “established a significant national following” and launched the Change Charter recently, the recent judgment “and the barriers it imposes on newly established political parties means CSN, like several other parties, faces a prejudicial, logistical timetable to qualify for the ballot”.

“We have therefore taken a decision that, while we believe it is essential to give voters as much encouragement to vote by providing them with a range of options, in the interests of increasing the chances of political change, we will offer support to political parties who share our values and the aspirations we believe voters are looking for. 

“Our research and our engagements with South Africans tells us while people are abandoning the ANC, a lot of political work is needed to unite South Africans behind a shared vision for the future of our country. Therefore, CSN will continue to work on, champion and advocate for the ideas in our Change Charter. We call on all South Africans to participate in the democratic process and to vote in these pivotal elections.”