UDM leader Bantu Holomisa Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA Pictures
Cape Town - The United Democratic Movement is following in the footsteps of the DA by inviting members of the public to apply for candidature positions in Parliament and the provincial legislatures.

The opposition party has invited people wishing to stand as candidates in the 2019 general elections to apply before next month.

“South Africans, we invite you to apply for UDM candidature. Try out to become a UDM candidate to serve in Parliament or a provincial legislature,” reads one of the posters.

Most political parties, including the ANC and EFF, draw their MPs and MPLs from their own ranks through a list process.

The selection of candidates as public representatives has proved divisive in some parties, especially the ANC, where tension often get heightened.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said on Monday his party used to have representation in almost all provinces.

“Now we are only in the Eastern Cape because of floor-crossing, so we dropped. We are trying to revive the UDM in those other areas.”

Holomisa said the response to their initiative had been good.

“We should be meeting those people in the various provinces so that they can be integrated into party structures and be able to familiarise themselves with the party's policies.”

He also said there was a circular, which was distributed to party structures in January, calling on UDM members who wanted to become MPs to come forward.

“What we try to do is not to act at the last minute about (candidate) list process, which ends up in people fighting over nothing.”

Holomisa also said workshops were planned with the would-be MPs to be held in June and July.

At the workshops, people would be familiarised with the UDM manifesto and their constituencies to campaign, among other things.

Holomisa said they were looking for “a mixed bag” of candidates.

“The UDM is not a party of the educated only, but those who have special skills will be welcomed because we want to have shadow cabinet spokespersons for various fields, and such fields will obviously need people with different skills,” he noted.

The candidates did not need to worry about qualifications and undergoing intensive interviews.

“We don’t do that. If they comply with our requirements, we say okay, here are the books, go and form your own branch in your area, recruit and sell UDM policies,” Holomisa said.

The DA communications director, Mabine Seabe, said his party followed an open process of choosing the best candidates.

Seabe said they had started to identify would-be MPs internally, but the focus was now on the elective congress taking place in April.

He also said the selection of non-party members as MPs would start soon after the congress.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe could not be reached for comment.

Political Bureau