Johannesburg - Four political parties have not yet fully complied with pre-election rules and may be excluded from the poll, the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said on Monday.
"A total number of 33 political parties have indicated their intention to contest the election of the National Assembly - although four parties are yet to fully comply with prescribed deposits and may be ruled out before the election," said IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela.
The deadline for the payment of deposits and submission of documentation, including candidate lists, was last Wednesday.
She was as yet not allowed to name the parties.
"According to the legislation and election timetable, parties still have a window of opportunity until 24 March to submit any outstanding requirement."
Bapela said if all 33 parties met their obligation, this would be seven more than parties contested the 2009 national election and just over double the number of parties which contested in 1999.
"In South Africa’s historic first democratic election in 1994 there were 19 parties on the national ballot paper and 21 in 2004," she said.
"Even if the four parties which still have to comply with the nomination requirements were to be excluded, the ballot paper will still contain a record 29 contesting parties."
Most contested province
The Western Cape would be the most contested province with 26 parties submitting lists followed by Gauteng with 22, Limpopo with 20, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal with 18 each, and the Free State with 17.
Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and North West would be contested by 16 parties each.
Bapela said the commission had sent notices of non-compliance to all affected political parties.
A total of 353 notices were issued on 15 March, and parties had until Monday to rectify any non-compliance.
The lists of candidates for each party (national, regional and provincial) would then be available for inspection from 28 March.
Any objection to candidates should be submitted in writing to the electoral commission’s head office in Centurion before 17:00 on 1 April.
"Such objections must indicate the reason for the objection to a candidate and must show that a copy of the objection has also been lodged with the relevant political party," Bapela said.
She said the commission would rule on the objections by 7 April, and any appeals to the rulings should be submitted to the Electoral Court by 10 April.
"The final deadline for decisions of the Electoral Court is 15 April, following which the final list of candidates contesting the elections will be published on 22 April and certificates issued to candidates by 24 April."
The election would be held on 7 May.