Oudtshoorn - The descendants of the Khoisan and the Khoikhoi are hoping Wednesday's election will bring them a presence in Parliament.

It was time for political representation for the original people of South Africa, said a spokesman for the Independent Civic Organisation of SA (Icosa), paramount chief Karel (Danab Xam Goab) Storm.

Speaking at Bridgton polling station in Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape, he said the group was hoping to get enough votes to elect their own representative in Parliament.

He said his people were determined to be recognised as the first nation of South Africa.

They wanted the recognition and the building up of their identity for the youth to take pride in themselves and to take a senior leadership role and embrace an inter-racial society.

“A strong identity based on our history as the first nation of South Africa will provide a prosperous and stable future for all,” Storm said.

The Khoikhoi and Khoisan are acknowledged to be the original inhabitants of South Africa, with their history dating back to the fifth century.

When Dutch settlers colonised the Cape after 1652, they labelled them Hottentots, in imitation of the sound of their language.

Storm said Icosa, created by the hierarchy of the Khoisan people, aimed to develop the people of South Africa into a truly inter-racial society.

“Once our people have representation in Parliament, issues such as land claims, poverty, housing and education would be addressed.” - Sapa