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Why not a party?

One of the most frequently asked questions is why Zackie is choosing to run as an independent candidate, despite the hurdles, rather than starting, or even joining a new party. 

The empty promises of party politics

Party politics has failed the people of South Africa. As an independent candidate, Zackie Achmat is committed to taking the ‘party politics’ out of politics.

His loyalty is to the Constitution, the rule of law and to working-class people. 

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One seat - many voices

Unlike parties that recruit members who are largely passive supporters, Zackie2024 is building a movement of active people who work alongside Zackie to bring change to their communities and the country.

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What is an independent candidate?

As the first publicly declared independent candidate, Zackie Achmat is charting the course for individuals in this historic election. With the introduction of independent candidates we are not only reshaping the ballot but have the opportunity to reclaim Parliament.  

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What can one man do?

As with all MPs, ultimately it comes down to personal integrity and commitment to do the work required to ensure an effective, efficient and economic public administration. Zackie is committed to continue his work of holding the state accountable.

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 “The only promise I make is that I won’t make any promises.”
- Zackie Achmat

The empty promises of party politics

Look at where party politics has gotten us. Every election cycle parties publish manifestos filled with a proverbial shopping list of promises. Yet, for the majority of people nothing changes. 

As a result people don’t want to vote because they feel it won’t make a difference to their circumstance. Declining voter turnout is a testimony to widespread pessimism, which puts our democracy, which depends on participation, in peril.

Party politics has also resulted in Parliamentarians who are more loyal to their party than the rule of law; than to the Constitution or the people who they are there to serve. Party politics protect the corrupt and incompetent and shield the racist. As part of his work in #UniteBehind, Zackie has been campaigning and litigating to ensure the ANC government holds their MPs implicated in the Zondo Commission Report accountable. Despite small victories, the ruling party has failed to root out the corrupt in the ranks.

Zackie's commitment remains to the rule of law and working class people.

What is an independent candidate?

In 2023 the Electoral Act was amended. The Constitutional Court found that the Electoral Act was unconstitutional because it did not make provision for individuals to be elected to the National Assembly and provincial legislatures. This set in motion the reform of the Electoral Bill and the signing of the Electoral Amendment Bill which now allows, for the first time in democratic SA, individuals who are not associated with political parties to stand as candidates for elections into legislatures and the National Assembly. 

To be eligible to contest the elections, independent candidates need to meet the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) requirements:

  • Be nominated and accept such a nomination 

  • Garner 1 000 endorsement signatures

  • Pay the deposit to the IEC 

Zackie Achmat has met all the requirements. While independent candidates can be nominated to contest the election in one or more regions for a seat in the National Assembly, Zackie will only contest in the Western Cape. This means he will only appear on the Regional Ballot in the Western Cape.


Find out more about how the ballots will work here

One seat - many voices

As an individual Zackie can only occupy one seat in Parliament, but he will not be alone.  

Based on a history of tangible change through movements in employment rights, healthcare, housing, sanitation, and education, Zackie2024 believes by building a movement of people who have the skills and knowledge to mobilise themselves we can compel the government to live up to the potential of this country and its Constitution.

More than that, Zackie2024 also believes that we cannot simply wait for the state to act. Every person and community living in South Africa has a responsibility to organise around the particular challenges they face and work with the government and the private sector to create solutions.


When Zackie gets elected into Parliament, he will work closely with the movement outside to bring the voices of people back into the halls of Parliament. Join him by joining the movement.

What can one man do?

Zackie is ready to do the ‘boring’ work of Parliament, which happens in committees. He’ll review accounts, reports, and statements with communities. Together with members of the movement he will demand testimony, and documents, and conduct inspections to help ensure that he roots out corruption, mismanagement, and incompetence.


When elected Zackie will seek to serve on one of the committees that oversees government expenditure: Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA), the Standing Committee on Finance, or Standing Committee on Appropriations.


This triad of committees oversee the financial statements of government departments and state institutions, government audit reports and expenditure reviews. He hopes to bring greater transparency to the committee proceedings and demand that those who steal and misspend are held to account.


He is also committed to work with any other MP of integrity, who supports the Constitution and the rule of law; anyone in parliament who opposes corruption, and anyone in parliament who supports pro-working class policies, programmes and budgets. 

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