How to register a party

Any party that wants to participate in an election must register with the IEC.

You may choose to register at national level, which will allow your party to contest elections of the National Assembly, provincial legislatures and all municipal councils.

However, you may choose to register only at municipal level for a particular municipality(/ies), and your party will then only be allowed to contest municipal elections for those particular municipal councils stated in your registration application.

To find out how to contest a municipal election as an individual candidate, please see independent ward candidates.

National level registration

To register to contest all elections (National level), you must submit:

  • An application for registration (Annexure 1 (PDF - 17.26 KB) of the Regulations), fully completed;
  • The name (not more than 60 letters) and abbreviated name (not more than eight letters) of the party;
  • A Copy of the party’s Constitution;
  • A Deed of Foundation signed by 500 registered voters who support the founding of the party (see Annexure 6 (PDF - 13.91 KB) of the Regulations);
  • Two sets of party logo/symbol in colour;
  • R500 registration fee; and
  • a hard copy of the Government Gazette in which your Notice appears (see Annexure 2 (PDF - 11.36 KB) of the Regulations).

For more information, see Section 15 of the Electoral Commission Act of 1996 and Regulation 2, 3 and 4 of the Regulations for the Registration of Political Parties of April 1998 (download the  Act and Regulations in PDF format - 183 KB).

Municipal level registration

To register to contest elections in only a specific municipality/ies (Municipal level), you must submit:

  • An application for registration (Annexure 1 (PDF - 17.26 KB) of the Regulations) fully completed;
  • A Copy of the party’s Constitution;
  • A Deed of Foundation signed by 100 registered voters who support the founding of the party (Annexure 6 (PDF - 13.91 KB) of the Regulations);
  • Two sets of party logo/symbol in colour;
  • R200 registration fee per municipality; and
  • A party applying for registration at Municipal level must place a Notice in a local newspaper (Annexure 2 (PDF - 11.36 KB) of the Regulations) and must submit proof of such publication (hard copy of the newspaper page)

* Please note that Annexure 6 indicates that only 50 signatures are required, but a susequent amendment (General Notice R151 in Government Gazette 34044 of 23 February 2011) changed this amount to 100 signatures.

For more info, see section 15A of the Act and Regulation 2, 3 and 4 of the Regulations (download the Act and Regulations in PDF format - 183 KB).

Note: Registration at Local Council level does not automatically register the party for the District Council (DC) in which that Local Council falls. Parties wishing to contest a DC election must indicate such DC in its application.

Application forms

  • Annexure 1
    Application for registration by a party (PDF - 17.26KB)
  • Annexure 2
    Notice of application for registration of a party (PDF - 11.36KB)
  • Annexure 6
    Deed of Foundation of a party (PDF - 13.91KB)

Section 16: Prohibition of registration of party under certain circumstances

The Chief Electoral Officer may prohibit the registration of a political party if the proposed name, abbreviated name distinguishing mark or symbol mentioned in the application –

  • resembles the name, abbreviated name, distinguishing mark or symbol, as the case may be of any other registered party to such extent that it may deceive or confuse voters; or
  • contains anything which portrays the propagation or incitement of violence or hatred or which may cause serious offence to any section of the population on the grounds of race, gender, sex, ethnic origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture or language 

Section 16A: Change of party name

A registered party wanting to change its existing registered name, abbreviated name or distinguishing mark/symbol must comply with the requirements of this section. Complete and submit Annexure 4 (PDF 23.58 KB) (Application by party to change name, abbreviated name or distinguishing mark/symbol) together with a certified copy of party resolution as well as proof of publication of Notice Annexure 5 (PDF 10.78 KB) (Notice of Application to change name, abbreviated name or distinguishing mark/symbol) as it appeared in Government Gazette (National level) or local newspapers (Municipal Level).