Reading this story - http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/How-to-win-a-South-African-election-20120830 - got me thinking about just exactly one needs to form a political party in South Africa.
As it turns out, forming a political party is pretty easy, and there have been some remarkably creative parties whose applications have been rejected.
Go over to the Independent Electoral Commission's website - http://www.elections.org.za - and look at the list of political parties. There's a search function for rejected parties, and it turns up some gems:The Dagga Party of South Africa (from the Western Cape, go figure)The Famous Youth Movement of South AfricaThe Sport PartyThe Compassion Party (the Marikana backlash proved there's very little of that in SA)Poor People's MovementDivine Democratic Campaign.
Good for the guys who tried to register their own parties at a national level - the barrier isn't huge, but it would still take a bit of work. According to the IEC site, the following requirements must be met:
National level registration
To register to contest all elections (National level), you must submit:
Sounds fair to me. Getting the 500 signatures will be the hardest part, no doubt.
- An application for registration (Annexure 1 (PDF - 17.26 KB) of the Regulations), fully completed;
- The name (not more than 60 letters) and abbreviated name (not more than eight letters) of the party;
- A Copy of the party’s Constitution;
- A Deed of Foundation signed by 500 registered voters who support the founding of the party (see Annexure 6 (PDF - 13.91 KB) of the Regulations);
- Two sets of party logo/symbol in colour;
- R500 registration fee; and
- a hard copy of the Government Gazette in which your Notice appears (see Annexure 2 (PDF - 11.36 KB) of the Regulations).
If South Africa's going to get somewhere, it'll need more political parties to start eroding the ANC's base. We can all agree that the ANC has a political hold that's just too strong, but at the same time the political opposition is sorely lacking.
I understand it's all about funding (the point that the initial poster made in the story I referred to at the start), but we really need to start uncovering political leaders who campaign permanently (not just before elections) and are dynamic.
The political mechanisms are there to exploit. Are we going to keep on complaining about the lack of service delivery or are we going to join together with like-minded people and form a party of our own? I, for one, don't want to leave political transformation in the sole hands of Aunty Helen. Good on the DA for always being there to complain, but we need somebody to offer us hope and make a concrete impact in our lives. Is that somebody you? If the Dagga Party could give it a crack, there's hope for us all.
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