Is MacG really running for a seat in Parliament as an independent candidate?

MacG. Picture: Instagram

MacG. Picture: Instagram

Published Mar 6, 2024


Popular YouTube podcaster Mac G has launched a last minute campaign for a seat in Parliament ahead of the 2024 general and provincial elections, which will take place on May 29.

Mac G, whose real name is Macgyver Mukhwevho, is one of South Africa’s most popular podcasters, with a million people subscribed to his podcast network which caters for the millennial and Gen Z’s (also known as ama2000).

But MacG is not known particularly for his political activism, he has previously admitted on his podcast, Podcast and Chill, that he has never voted in the elections before.

He announced last year that he would be voting this year.

If MacG garners the 1,000 signatures required, he would likely vote for himself as he votes for the first time in his life. MacG is 36 this year.

Is MacG serious?

It is not yet clear if the former YFM and 947 shock jock is truly serious or if he was merely creating content for his popular podcast, which has amassed over one million subscribers.

On videos posted on his Instagram, Mac G was seen in the Braamfontein area with his co-host Sol Phenduka and comedian Eugene Khoza.

MacG announced on Wednesday he would be at the Wing Republic in Braamfontein, where he hopes to garner 1,000 signatures which will qualify him to stand as an independent candidate for the May 29 elections.

“Chillers join us today at 4pm Outside Wing Republic in Braamfontein to rally behind our cause to get 1000 signatures for parliament! Let's make a difference together. #ChillersUnite”, he said.

The post garnered over 4,000 likes by 8pm on Wednesday, on just one of his Instagram accounts.

If the likes were signatures, they would be enough to get MacG on the ballot sheet on May 29. It was unclear if he achieved the 1,000 signatures.

What the new electoral rules say

As much as MacG may or may not be serious about his quest for a seat in Parliament, a parliamentary seat will be a reality for many independent candidates who garner enough votes for the May 29 elections.

According to new electoral rules by the Electoral Commission of SA, independent candidates are required to gather 1,000 signatures to stand for the elections.

The IEC has set a deadline of Friday for these signatures to be submitted.

The IEC said on its website: “In the case of contesting the National Assembly or Provincial Legislature supporter signatures must equal 1000. These supporters must be captured on the Online Candidate Nomination System (OCNS), before cut-off date for submission of candidates (as per the Election timetable)”.

This includes a signed nomination form, as well as the names, ID numbers and signatures of the 1,000 people backing the independent candidate.

Signatures are not easy

New political parties contesting the elections also have to source signatures, with one party, Roger Jardine’s Change Starts Now party, having already thrown in the towel.

It would seem the change would have to start later for Jardine and his party after they blamed the electoral timetable and the constitutional court ruling, which dismissed an application about new political parties having to garner nearly 50,000 signatures before getting on the ballot sheet.

Jardine’s party had billed itself as a party opposed to the governing ANC.

The IEC says new political parties have been given adequate time to seek the required near 50,000 signatures after amendments were made to the electoral act.

The IEC said last year there were over 300 political parties registered with it.

Mmusi Maimane’s Build One South Africa party is also expected to make an announcement around the same matter on Thursday morning.

The May 29 elections will be the first time independent candidates are allowed to stand in a general election in South Africa.

Independent candidates have been allowed to stand as councillor for years.

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Electoral Amendment Act in April last year, which allowed the independent candidates to contest elections in Parliament and provincial legislatures.

Have your say… Would you vote for a Mac G?

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