PARLIAMENT, November 7 – Black First Land First (BLF), which describes itself as a pan-Africanist and revolutionary social political party, on Tuesday argued for a deposit required for parties to contest elections in South Africa to be eliminated.
The BLF was one of several organisations which briefed MPs on the draft Political Party Funding Bill being dealt with by an ad hoc committee of Parliament.
Political parties are required to pay around R605,000 to contest in elections in the country – R45,000 per province and R200,000 for the national legislature.
BLF Spokesman, Lindsay Maasdorp, said: “BLF calls for the repeal of the provisions of the Electoral Act. We submit that each political party who wishes to contest must at least have 50,000 signatures to show that they have the capacity of garnering votes and to ensure that they can participate and have expression within the majority of the people in this country.”
He said these signatures would also ensure that if parties pay the R605,000, they would show that their parties have support.
However, Maasdorp added that they reject the deposit as it was “unfair and unreasonable” to new parties contesting elections.
“Every citizen is free to make political choices, and how do we maintain these freedoms when we say that you must pay R600,000 to participate in the electoral system while we know that some people might receive that money at a drop of a hat,” Maasdorp said.
African People Convention’s (APC) MP Themba Godi, who sat on the ad hoc committee, concurred that paying a deposit “places a restriction”.
– African News Agency (ANA)