The number of parties set to contest the 2019 elections has grown dramatically, with 47 new political parties registered since January 2018 and a further 37 applications pending, says the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC). The IEC hopes the almost 300 registered parties in SA will not all contest in the national elections scheduled for later in 2019. Disgruntled members of established political parties have formed breakaways in recent months, which are set to take part in the elections. Supporters of President Cyril Ramaphosa have cautioned that the surge in small parties and splinter groups is aimed at undermining him and the ANC in the polls. According to ANC insiders, contestation inside the ANC still persists after the party’s divisive Nasrec elective conference in 2017, and some of these factions are seen as an attempt to weaken the president.

Ramaphosa is yet to announce the date of the elections. They are set to be hotly contested as opposition parties hope to push the g...

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