Parties have until tomorrow to pay election deposits

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

By close of business tomorrow, South Africans will know which parties will be on the ballot paper for the 8 May national and provincial elections.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said only registered political parties that have paid deposits and submitted candidate lists by 5pm on 13 March 2019 will be allowed to contest the elections.

“As at 9am today [Tuesday], 22 political parties had paid their deposits and 12 had submitted candidate lists. Approximately 34 parties had indicated their intention of contesting,” the IEC said.

South Africa has seen a steady increase in the number of political parties contesting national elections since 1999:

Election Year

Number of parties contesting national ballot

Number of parties which won representation in the National Assembly














Parties contesting both national and provincial elections are required to pay a deposit of R200 000 for the national ballot and R45 000 for each provincial ballot.

“The deposit is refunded in full to parties which win at least one seat in each legislature they contest. The deposits of parties that fail to secure a seat are forfeited to the National Revenue Fund,” IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela said.

The submission of candidate lists and payment of deposits is largely done electronically these days using the Online Candidate Nomination System.

Lists must contain no more than 400 candidates for the national election and no more than the total number of representatives for each provincial legislature.

Once tomorrow’s deadline has passed, the Electoral Commission will have until 19 March to advise parties of any non-compliance in respect of candidate lists which must be rectified by 25 March.

The election timetable also provides an opportunity for the Electoral Commission to notify parties of any candidates appearing on lists of other parties by 26 March. The affected parties have until 28 March to submit substitutes for these candidates.

The final list of candidates will be published on 29 March. –