9 May 2014
With counting in South Africa’s national election over 96% complete by 11am on Friday – and the African National Congress (ANC) firmly in charge, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) also making gains – three new political parties are set to take up seats in the country’s Parliament.
The newcomers headed for the country’s national legislature are the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the National Freedom Party (NFP) and the African Independent Congress (AIC).
By 11am on Friday, the EFF had racked up 1070873 votes to place third in the national race with 6.2% of the vote, the NFP had bagged 275737 votes to place 5th nationally (1.6%), and the AIC had 92493 votes to place 10th (0.54%).
For a seat in South Africa’s Parliament, a political party needs about 47000 votes.
Led by former African National Congress (ANC) Youth League president Julius Malema, the EFF, which has only been in existence for around eight months, looks set to be the biggest gainer in the 2014 elections, easily placing third in the national election and set to be the new official opposition in two provinces, Limpopo and North West.
The NFP, a breakaway from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) which, like the IFP, has its stronghold in KwaZulu-Natal, is led by Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, a former president of the IFP Youth Brigade.
The AIC, based in the Eastern Cape region of Matatiele in the former Transkei homeland, was only registered as a political party this year.
Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni told SAnews on Friday that it was possible that some voters may have unintentionally voted for the AIC, thinking they were voting for the ANC. The AIC appeared just above the ANC on this year’s ballot papers, and the party’s colours also resemble those of the ANC – black, yellow, green and white.
“As far as I remember, [the AIC] doesn’t even have people at the results centre,” Fikeni said. “I am sure they are still recovering from the shock themselves.”
This year’s elections, according to Fikeni, could see other smaller parties such as the Pan Africanist Congress, the United Christian Democratic Party, the Minority Front, the Azanian People’s Organisation and the African People’s Convention disappearing from Parliament altogether.
Another new kid on the block, Agang SA, led by Mamphele Ramphele “never took off from the runway”, Fikeni noted. The party had recorded 46 702 votes (0.27%) by 11am on Friday.
Also failing to impress was Kenny Kunene’s recently formed Patriotic Alliance, which received just 12 927 votes (0.07%).
But for Fikeni the biggest loser in this year’s election was the Congress of the People (Cope), which received 7.4% of the vote in the 2009 elections and was now – with just 117 259 votes by 11am on Friday – languishing at 0.68% of the vote.
SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter