The new faces in Parliament – and those who aren’t coming back

 ·4 Jun 2024

A record 18 political parties will be represented in the country’s seventh democratic Parliament.

While several parties had some seats in the National Assembly during the last administration, the rest are entering the legislature for the first time.

Subsequently, some parties seen in the last administration did not make the cut this time around

These are all the parties represented in the seventh Parliament that were not seen last administration, and the parties that did not make it back.

New kids on the block

UmKhonto we Sizwe (MK) Party – 58/400 seats

The biggest winner in South Africa’s election may be former President Jacob Zuma’s newly formed uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party, which emerged as a major factor in the African National Congress’ (ANC’s) sharp drop in support.

It won just over 14% of the national vote to make it the third largest party, picking up 58 seats in Parliament.

MK, which advocates for the nationalising land and banks and overhauling the constitution, unseated the ANC as the largest party in the populous province of KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma’s home region. It achieved just under half the vote compared to the ANC’s 17%,

Analysts attribute Zuma’s popularity to much of the MK Party’s success. Zuma, who led South Africa for nearly nine years, was forced out by the ANC in 2018 amid mounting corruption allegations, and replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa.

In 2021, Zuma was jailed for contempt of court for a corruption inquiry but was released on medical parole after less than two months. Displeased with the ANC under Ramaphosa, Zuma endorsed the MK Party in December 2023 and became its leader, though the conviction barred him from Parliament candidacy.

His daughter, Duduzile Zuma, is expected to be a key figure in the MK Party Parliamentary team.

Patriotic Alliance – 9/400 seats

Another big winner of the May 29th elections was Gayton McKenzie and Kenny Kunene’s Patriotic Alliance (PA), making its Parliamentary debut over 14 years after its formation.

It received 330,376 votes (2.06%) on the national ballot, a big leap from the 0.04% it received in 2019.

A large chunk of its votes came from its stronghold, the Western Cape, scoring votes (in municipal, provincial and national elections) off former strongholds of the Democratic Alliance (DA). However, it showed improvements on all ballots that it contested.

Among the PA’s manifesto promises are a tough stance on illegal immigration, putting “God back into schools,” an having unemployed youth over 18 years old conscripted.

Its leader, Gayton McKenzie, will head the PA in Parliament. Analysts have said that they could be the kingmakers in coalition agreements, with McKenzie indicating that the PA wants control of the Home Affairs department to seal the deal.

ActionSA – 6/400 seats

Contesting its first general elections, Herman Mashaba’s ActionSA have made it to Parliament with six seats, with the founding party leader expected to lead the party in the National Assembly.

Sporting 192,127 votes (1.2%) of the national vote, ActionSA saw their largest portion of its votes come from its stronghold, Gauteng.

With some its manifesto promises including advocating for a tough on crime approach, and focusing on small businesses, Mashaba said that his party intends to stick by these promises made.

At the time of writing, ActionSA is a member of the Multi-Party Charter (a working arrangement agreement with a group of other parties), it is unclear yet how the grouping will operate in Parliament.

Rise Mzansi – 2/400 seats

Songezo Zibi’s Rise Mzansi will also be first time entrants to the National Assembly, securing two seats – one compensatory and one regional.

Formed just over a year ago, Rise Mzansi secured 67,975 (0.42%) of the national ballot vote.

In its manifesto, it calls for a ‘new era’ of leaders and politics and label themselves as “social democrats,” which they said they would bring to Parliament.

Zibi is expected to be joined by Vuyiswa Ramokgopa to make up the Rise Mzansi parliament fleet.

Build One South Africa – 2/400 seats

Mmusi Maimaine’s Build One South Africa (BOSA) is making its first parliamentary appearance just under two years since its formation, securing two seats which will be taken up by Maimane and deputy president Nobuntu Hlazo-Webster.

BOSA received 65,912 (0.41%) of the national vote, giving them two compensatory seats in Parliament.

This is not Maimane’s first time in Parliament. He was previously the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, until his resignation from the Democratic Alliance in 2019.

BOSA’s election priorities, which leaders have said will stay the same in Parliament, includes focusing on job and reforming the education sector.

National Coloured Congress – 2/400

National Coloured Congress | Facebook

The National Coloured Congress (NCC), headed by Fadiel Adams, will also take its seat in the National Assembly for the first time.

Securing 0.23% of the national ballot vote and 0.30% of the regional, the NCC received one compensatory seat and one regional seat after forming in late 2020.

The part advocates for the rights of minority groups which have and continue to be disadvantaged.

According to its manifesto, some of the biggest items on its Parliamentary agenda include focusing on food insecurity and inequality.

United Africans Transformation – 1/400

United Africans Transformation (@UAT2023) / X

The United Africans Transformation (UAT), led by Dr Bantu Mahlatsi, managed to secure 1 compensatory seat in the National Assembly after receiving 35,979 votes (0.22%) on the national ballot.

The UAT is a Pan-African political movement with its roots anchored in the African traditional values.

The party advocates for radical economic transformation and land redistribution. Its manifesto promises include granting the Africans access to land for food security and entrepreneurial opportunities.

The ones that did not make it back

Congress of the People (COPE)

Once the third-largest party represented in the National Assembly, Congress of the People (COPE) has not made it back to Parliament for the seventh administration.

The party was formed in 2008 by former high-ranking ANC members Mosiuoa “Terror” Lekota, Mbhazima Shilowa and Mluleki George who disagreed with the direction that the ANC was going in following the recall of Thabo Mbeki as president.

COPE first made it to Parliament in 2009, with 30 seats after securing 7.42% or 1.3 million votes in their first general elections.

In the 2014 elections, it received 123,235 (0.67%) national votes giving them three seats, 47,461 (0.27%) in 2019 to give them two seats, and 14,177 (0.09%) in 2024.

Analysts say that party infighting has been a key factor in its electoral decline.

National Freedom Party

The National Freedom Party (NFP), formed by the late Zanele kaMagwaza-Msibi, former chairperson of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), along with other former IFP members in 2011, has not made it back to the National Assembly.

In its general election debut in 2014, the NFP received 1.57% of the national vote (288,742 votes). This support, largely from KwaZulu-Natal, saw them get 6 seats in the legislature.

In the 2019 elections, it dropped to receiving 0.35% of national vote (61,220 votes), securing them 2 seats in parliament.

After receiving 19,397 national votes (0.12%), the party was unable to make it back to Parliament, however did manage to secure one seat in the KwaZulu Natal provincial legislature.

African Independent Congress

Established in 2005, the African Independent Congress (AIC) was established as a result of an Eastern Cape/KwaZulu Natal land dispute, but morphed into a party.

In the 2014 general election, it garnered 97,462 votes (0.53%), securing three National Assembly seats and maintaining its Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature seat it got in the 2009 elections.

Before the 2019 general election, the party faced internal disputes leading to the dissolution of its national executive by a court ruling, and major financial woes. It won 48,107 votes (two Parliament seats), and lost its provincial seat in the Eastern Cape.

In 2024, it picked up 19,900 votes or 0.12% of the national vote.

Read: All the big changes to National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures in South Africa

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