Mametlwe Sebei. Photo: Yazeed Kamaldien

Pretoria - A new political party, the Workers and Socialist Party (Wasp), has made its entrance on South Africa's political scene.

“Comrades came from various communities all over the country and the turnout exceeded our expectations,” spokesman Mamatlwe Sebei said on Friday after the party's launch.

“No one could have expected the kinds of numbers that came to the launch. The hall was at a full capacity with a lot of people standing. Over 600 delegates came from across the country to show their support.”

The event was held at the Pretoria West Rugby Club on Thursday.

Sebei said people in the transport and mining industries, as well as university students, came to support the party.

“The party's concerns really are the sentiments of labour movements and service delivery,” he said.

Sebei said they had started a number of campaigns across the country and had begun mobilising communities. Free education and helping mineworkers losing their jobs would be among the party's priorities.

A date for the party's congress, where party leadership would be chosen, had not been set. Sebei hoped it would be before the end of the year.

Wasp had not registered with the Independent Electoral Commission.

“We will submit our application next week.”

According to the IEC's website, to register a political party an application form must be submitted. Along with the form, the party must indicate its name and abbreviation, submit a copy of its constitution and have a deed of foundation signed by 500 registered voters.

“We already have over 1000 signatures,” Sebei added.

On Wednesday, Sebei said Wasp would raise the banner for a “new kind of politics”.

“Wasp will be a party that stands for genuine democratic socialism and the interests of the majority. That it is an initiative by the mineworkers, the backbone of the working class, is deeply embarrassing for the ANC,” Sebei said at the time.

“They can no longer claim to represent working class South Africans. And workers are getting organised in opposition to the ANC to hammer that point home.” - Sapa