Patricia de Lille’s new party Good will be contesting the elections. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Parties that wish to contest this year’s national elections will have to fork out a deposit of R200 000 and pay and additional R45 000 to participate at a provincial level - before the elections in May.

The Independent Electoral Commission said on Friday it had approved the amounts after proposed figures were published for public comment in October.

“While there is no deadline for party registration for participation in an election, political parties which have not yet submitted a registration application to the Electoral Commission are unlikely to meet all the requirements for registration in time to contest this year’s elections,” it said.

The approved deposit amount remains unchanged and is the same as that proposed in 2014.

So far, 285 parties have registered and 36 more applications are under consideration.

Recently, former Cape Town mayor and leading DA member Patricia de Lille announced that her new party, Good, would be contesting the elections, while former SABC executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng launched his party, the African Content Movement, in December.

Some parties are pushing President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign the Political Party Funding Bill into law. It requires parties to disclose who funds them. The Bill was passed by Parliament last year.

Meanwhile, the deposits are not the only expenses parties may find themselves paying out.

Parties that breach the IEC’s electoral code may be fined up to R200000 or be compelled to relinquish their deposit, have their registration cancelled or even have their votes in an area withdrawn.

The ANC said it had laid a formal complaint with the IEC regarding the DA’s conduct which it described as flying in the face of the electoral code of conduct. The skirmish between the two parties this week has been over a DA campaign billboard.

The opposition party unveiled the billboard in Johannesburg. It listed the names of the victims of the Marikana massacre, Life Esidimeni tragedy and children who died in pit latrines.

The DA has since received wide criticism from ordinary South Africans and political parties. But it has maintained that it stands by its controversial poster titled: “The ANC is killing us”.

DA national spokesperson Solly Malatsi said: “We are still of the strong view that the message on the billboard is the hard truth - that the ANC killed people at Marikana and Life Esidimeni.

“The billboard is compliant with the electoral code of conduct and we will meet the ANC at the IEC. We are not shaken by their complaint”.

When asked whether the families of the victims were consulted before their names were put on the billboard, Malatsi said there was no need for such consultation.

“The names have been a matter of public record from as early as Marikana and Life Esidimeni occurred, the names have been published in both print and social media, even government reports.

“What the DA did was to reproduce public information, that is already in the public domain, to highlight the tragic loss of life that was at the hand of the ANC government,” said Malatsi.

On Thursday, people believed to be relatives of the victims, vandalised the billboard, saying that it was insensitive to those grieving the loss of family members.

Malatsi said those who vandalised the billboard would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

“With regards to the individuals who committed an act of crime by vandalising the billboard, it was an insult to the memory of those South Africans we are paying tribute to.

“We hope that law enforcement in Johannesburg will do their job to identify and apprehend those individuals so that the law can take its course,” said Malatsi.

Political Bureau