UIM to contest national and regional elections

Neil de Beer, president of the the United Independent Movement (UIM), and his vice-president Fatima Abdool.

Neil de Beer, president of the the United Independent Movement (UIM), and his vice-president Fatima Abdool.

Published Mar 26, 2024


The United Independent Movement (UIM), founded by Neil de Beer, former national security adviser to Nelson Mandela and member of the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto weSizwe (MK), will only contest national and provincial elections.

The regional elections form part of the three ballot papers introduced for the first time to accommodate independent candidates.

This year, voters will see three ballot papers rather than the usual two: national and provincial. The reason for this lies in the Electoral Amendment Act (EAA), signed into law in April 2023 and has already gone through some changes.

The EAA amends the 1998 Electoral Act, allowing independent candidates to contest provincial and national elections in terms of a Constitutional Court judgment handed down in June 2020. The judgment ruled the Electoral Act unconstitutional as candidates could only contest elections by way of membership of an electoral party.

De Beer, who is also a City of Cape Town councillor, said his party was initially formed as a civil society movement after he had lost faith in the ANC.

“What was intended to be a simple, politically driven movement for the people soon became so much more.

“Eventually, the movement gained momentum and support, and people started looking at the UIM as the entity that could play a major role in the uncertain future of South Africa and bring about much-needed change.

“The call came from the people to form a political party to contest elections and possibly represent them in government.”

The UIM was officially registered as a political party on August 2, 2021.

Virginia Young, UIM’s national media liaison officer, said: “The UIM has grown significantly in all provinces. The party and its leadership are engaging with the people on the ground who intimately know and serve their communities and are in touch with their needs, starting at the grass-roots level.”

Young said: “The United Independent Movement believes in dignity, old-fashioned reliability, mutual respect, and keeping promises. It also believes that a country’s heart is its people and that such a heart should be nurtured. The UIM represents and consists of all South Africans.”

Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said the prospects of political parties such as UIM to get any further in these upcoming elections “are yet to be seen”.

Young said that despite the criticism, the UIM expects to do well in the Western Cape.

“Our president’s home ground, as in the previous local government elections, has shown an increase in numbers since our successful 2021 local government election campaign.”

The UIM is also part of the Multi-Party Charter for South Africa, an agreement signed with 11 other parties to replace the ANC government with a multiparty government after the May 29 national elections.

Cape Argus