Cape Town - With the Independent Electoral Commission election timetable published, political parties are preparing for a frenzied campaign.
They have just over a week to submit lists of candidates for the national and provincial legislatures.
The elections will take place on May 7, but it is still unclear how many parties will appear on the national ballot paper.
Last week, the IEC set a deadline of March 12 for the submission of candidate lists and the hefty deposits required to contest the elections.
The IEC’s Western Cape chief, Courtney Sampson, listed some of the important dates and deadlines:
5pm, March 12: deadline for submission of candidate lists and payment of deposits.
* 8am, April 7: opening date for submission of special vote applications.
* 5pm, April 11: deadline for objections to candidate lists.
* 5pm, April 17: deadline for submission of special vote applications.
* April 30, casting of votes by overseas voters at South African missions abroad.
* 9am to 5pm, May 5 and 6: casting of special votes.
* 7am to 9pm, May 7: election day.
So far only a handful of parties have revealed their candidate lists. The ANC indicated its lists would be revealed only once they had been submitted to the IEC, although there is speculation that the provincial ANC chairman, Marius Fransman, is the party’s premier candidate in the Western Cape.
The DA unveiled its lists in January, with Premier Helen Zille up for the job again.
The provincial ACDP revealed its candidates last week, with its provincial leader, Ferlon Christians, as the premier candidate.
Cope’s provincial leaders could not be reached for comment.
Sampson said parties contesting all the provincial and national polls would have to cough up R605 000 in deposits – R45 000 for each province and R200 000 for the national election.
“Political parties that win seats in the National Assembly will get their deposits back, while those who fail to obtain any seat will forfeit their deposits,” he said.
“Those who win seats in the provincial legislature will get the money back only for the provinces where they are successful.”
Political newcomers the Economic Freedom Fighters, led by Julius Malema, are already heading to court, seeking an interdict against having to pay the deposit at the same time as submitting its candidate lists in terms of the electoral timetable.