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Your signature, our democracy: Making history in South Africa's 2024 elections

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

The 2024 elections will be historic for South African democracy. 

Why? This is the first time since our new democracy that independent candidates, like Zackie Achmat, can run for Parliament. It is the first time you will get to exercise your constitutional right to vote for and be represented by an individual rather than a party in Parliament. 

Despite the amendments to the Electoral Act that allow independent candidates to run, there are many barriers to getting on the ballot

The Zackie2024 campaign needs your support to get Zackie Achmat a seat in Parliament.

Endorsement Nomination Process

Independent candidates face an uphill battle to get on the ballot.

To contest a seat in Parliament, independent candidates in the Western Cape need to collect signatures of endorsement from 15% or 13 201 registered votes in the region, before any actual voting takes place. This number is proportional to the electorate, and will differ between provinces. These signatures need to be collected physically (not online) and need to be submitted to the IEC both digitally and delivered in person. 

Independent candidates must also be nominated by at least 2 people, and pay R20 000 per region they intend to contest. 

Before the Electoral Act was amended parties only required 1 000 signatures, which means despite making it possible for independents to stand the system still privileges registered parties. This uneven playing field extents to voting and the number of votes independent candidates will need to garner a seat. 

Why Your Signature Counts

Your signature does more than just help meet a legal requirement. 

It's a show of support for a more inclusive political landscape, as you are endorsing the need for diverse perspectives in Parliament. 

Note that your signature is not a vote, or even a commitment to vote. It is an endorsement of a candidate's right to run for a seat in Parliament. 

When you sign to endorse an independent candidate like Zackie Achmat, you're taking a stand for a progressive democracy that upholds the values of accountability and community empowerment.

The Power of Independent Candidates

What is an independent candidate? These are politicians who are not affiliated with a political party or association. In the 2024 elections, if independent candidates are to stand a chance, your signature is critical. 

Independent candidates offer a fresh voice in politics, as they do not need to base their decisions on a party agenda. Free from party politics, they can focus on representing and advocating for the needs of their constituents. 

Independence in politics is key for candidates like Zackie, as it allows them to focus on what truly matters to their constituents. Accountability, community mobilisation, and action against State failure and corruption are the cornerstones of Zackie campaign. 

Independence means Zackie can collaborate with any MPs who share his commitment to working-class interests, regardless of their party. 

How Can You Help? 

Our democracy depends on you to step up and play an active role in reshaping the ballot and reforming our political landscape. By endorsing Zackie Achmat, you're not just supporting an independent candidate to get onto the ballot; you're advocating for a political system that values every voice. 

If you want to see Zackie Achmat on the ballot, here’s what you can do:

  1. Join us on 21 November 2023 for the signature collection launch

  2. Help us collect signatures

  3. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, and share our content

Let's make history together.

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