Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo. Picture: SUPPLIED
Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo. Picture: SUPPLIED

A total of 48 political parties will contest the 2019 elections, Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said on Wednesday.

This was 19 more parties than the 2014 general election, he said. 

IEC chair Glen Mashinini said a record number of political parties would take part in the election, with a significant number of them contesting for the first time. 

A number of new parties managed to pay the deposit to contest elections, such as Patricia de Lille’s Good, Numsa’s Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party, former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s the African Content Movement, the controversial Black First Land First (BLF) and the Capitalist Party of SA.

Political parties had to pay a R200,000 deposit to take part in the national elections. A further R45,000 had to be paid for each provincial election contested. This means that a party contesting national and all provincial elections would have to pay a deposit of R605,000.

Mamabolo said Gauteng had the highest number of political parties contesting the provincial elections, at 36, while the Northern Cape had the lowest, with 21 parties contesting.

There are 49 days to go before the May 8 election in which opposition parties are hoping to push the ANC below 50% in provinces such as Gauteng and the Northern Cape.

The 2019 elections have been touted as the most highly contested since 1994. Political parties will sign the electoral code of conduct on Wednesday. A draw for positions on the ballot paper will take place after the code of conduct is signed. 

Mamabolo said there were more than 26-million voters on the voters roll. The roll had grown 47% since 1999.

Once the ballot draw is done, the IEC can start preparing the ballot papers. Mamabolo said the IEC would prepare more than 50-million ballot papers using 40 tonnes of paper.