In March 2019, two months before the national and provincial elections, the Capitalist Party of South Africa (ZACP) was launched at the Rand Club. The party’s symbol was a fetching purple cow — but that’s where its appeal ended. Its ideas were to the right of the political spectrum and it got just 15,915 votes, not enough for even a single parliamentary seat.

In the same month, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) launched its political vehicle, the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP). Despite being backed by the country’s largest and most influential (at the time) trade union, the SRWP received only 24,439 votes. The ultra-left outfit also never made it into parliament...

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