Wire Service
3 minute read
28 Oct 2021
5:25 pm

These are the main political parties in SA’s 2021 local government elections


Although 325 parties will contest the local government elections on Monday, these are some to look out for.

Picture: Gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu

It is the final stretch before South Africans turn out to vote in the local government elections on Monday.

Established parties, such as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the official opposition the Democratic Alliance (DA) could be facing harsh realities as voters have their say next week. There are also new parties – such as GOOD and ActionSA – hoping to gain a foothold in the country’s political landscape.

In the last local elections in 2016, the ANC won just under 54% of the vote – its worst showing ever – and lost control of major cities like Johannesburg and Pretoria for the first time.

The opposition is split among several parties, many of which created coalition governments in cities for the first time in 2016.

Although a kaleidoscope of 325 parties will contest South Africa’s sixth local government elections on Monday, these are some to look out for:

African National Congress (ANC)

The ANC has governed South Africa since the fall of apartheid in 1994, but its once-glorious image has been tainted by corruption scandals and its economic record. The ANC’s showing in recent elections has slumped.

It goes into the elections fractured, beset by deep divisions and facing heightened disenchantment, with President Cyril Ramaphosa begging voters to give the party another chance.

ALSO READ: ANC’s electoral fortunes may hinge on women’s faith in Ramaphosa – study

Democratic Alliance (DA)

Established in 2000 as a merger of three “white” parties, the DA has been the largest opposition party for nearly two decades. Long viewed as the party for middle-class whites, it has attracted a large following of blacks, but lately been rocked by allegations of racism.

ALSO READ: ‘Broken Joburg can be fixed,’ says DA mayoral candidate

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)

Firebrand ex-ANC youth leader Julius Malema created the EFF in 2013. The party describes itself as a “radical and militant economic emancipation movement”. Its flagship policy is to seize land from white owners without compensation to give it to poor blacks.

Its popularity has grown, tapping into the anger of millions of young, poor and unemployed blacks.

ALSO READ: King Dalindyebo urges subjects to vote for EFF to ‘teach the ANC a lesson’

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)

Founded in 1975 as a political and cultural movement, it transformed into a political party 15 years later. It is motivated by Black Conciousness political ideology and derives most of its support from one province – KwaZulu-Natal. 

ALSO READ: ‘Real heroes unite’: IFP capitalises on DA’s Phoenix poster blunder

GOOD party

GOOD was formed by cabinet minister Patricia De Lille, a former DA mayor of Cape Town. She split from the DA in an acrimonious row in 2018. 

It could sap some DA support in the Western Cape, but its political potential is as-yet untested.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Good Party wants to bring jobs back to Cape Town

Cape Independence Party

Founded in 2007, it is campaigning for autonomy of the Western Cape. It hopes to garner enough votes to call for referendum for the creation of The Cape Republic, an entity that would be roughly the size of France. Modelled on the UK Independence Party, it says “it’s time for Capexit”.

ALSO READ: Tito Mboweni wants Cape independence referendum nipped in the bud


Formed a year ago by a millionaire businessman and ex-mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba, it has gained the support of some outspoken former ANC lawmakers, including a corruption whistle-blower. Arguing that up to 15% of people living in South Africa are undocumented foreign nationals, it promises to tighten immigration controls.

ALSO READ: ActionSA answers five questions about what makes them ActionSA

United Democratic Movement (UDM)

Formed in 1998, its leader is Bantu Holomisa, former leader of the apartheid-era Transkei “independent” homeland – areas where blacks were moved to separate them from whites. Holomisa is another former ANC member.

NOW READ: Only a third of voters expected to turn up on Monday, research shows