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Time to sign: Getting independent candidates on the ballot for historic 2024 elections

Zackie2024 officially kick starts its signature collection campaign on 21 November, to get independent candidate Zackie Achmat onto the 2024 ballot.

 

In the 2024 elections, individuals, not only political parties, will be able to stand for our national Parliament for the first time in 30 years. The Electoral Act was amended after the Constitutional Court ruled that individuals have the right to stand for elections.

 

This is a historic moment with the potential to redefine our political landscape. Being able to vote for an independent candidate to represent you in Parliament, rather than a party, provides a real opportunity towards reclaiming Parliament for the people.

 

Despite the victory, the current electoral system is still severely skewed towards registered parties. The barrier to entry is very high for independent candidates and new parties. For example, prior to the amendment parties had to collect a mere 1 000 signatures to get onto the ballot, compared to the 15% of registered voters (in the regions they intend to contest the election) required from independents and new parties. In the Western Cape this amounts to 13 201 signatures.

 

This bias, that privileges parties, also extends to the number of votes independents would need to win a seat in Parliament. 


"The current electoral system inherently favours parties over independent voices, yet for a truly representative democracy, it demands an overhaul,” says Achmat. “In the interim, active voters must champion inclusivity by supporting and endorsing independent candidates. It's not just about reshaping the ballot; it's about reshaping the very framework that governs our democratic process."

 

The primary objective of this campaign is to advocate for this independent candidate and to focus attention on the significance of this election. Zackie2024 will spotlight the pivotal role of independent candidates, underscoring the hope and opportunities they bring to the electoral landscape marred by voter apathy.


“Many voters are not aware that they will receive three ballots in the next election, giving them an extra vote. The provincial ballot features parties and independents, then the one national ballot (compensatory) featuring parties only and the second national ballot (regional) featuring both parties and independents,” explains Achmat. 

What this means is that voters will be able to vote for both a party and an independent candidate on the national ballots. This has the potential to bring independent voices into Parliament that can hold parties accountable. 


The signature collection campaign launch will congregate outside the Arches at the Slave Lodge, in Cape Town on 21 November 2023. Achmat will officially launch the campaign alongside Zackie2024 organisers and endorsers.


EVENT DETAILS

EVENT: Zackie2024 Signature Collection Launch

DATE: Tuesday, 21 November 2023

TIME: 12:30-13:30

LOCATION: Arches, Slave Lodge, Cnr of Wale and Adderley Street, Cape Town


This event marks a crucial moment in the electoral landscape, representing a call for change and a rallying point for the empowerment of independent candidates.

 

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:


Tamsyn Dekenah

+27 (0)78 919 6519

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