List of Registered Political Parties in South Africa

registered political parties in south africa

The political atmosphere in South Africa is a buzz of activities as it approaches its 2024 elections. The democracy of the country is characterized by a multi-party system where several political parties are allowed to contest for a spot in the national and provincial elections.

As the Independent Electoral Commission IEC is gearing up for these elections, it has wrapped up the list of registered political parties that are eligible to run. These political parties express different goals and represent different ideologies to cater to the diverse interests of South Africans. Here, we have outlined the registered political parties to compete in the ballot in the 2024 elections. 

Registered Political Parties in South Africa

Here is an overview of the current list of registered political parties in South Africa. 

African National Congress (ANC)

As we know, ANC has been the ruling party in South Africa long since the end of apartheid in 1994. This party was founded in 1912 and as such, is the country’s oldest political party. Historically, this party is known to have played a pivotal role in the country’s struggle against apartheid, with Nelson Mandela as one of its able leaders. ANC is a center-left party whose policies strive to address poverty, and inequality, and promote social justice. 

Democratic Alliance (DA)

This has been the main opposition party in the country. It came to be in 2000, having succeeded the Democratic Party DP that was founded in the 1980s. The main objectives of the party are to advocate for the rule of law, liberal democracy, and a market-driven economy. This party is seen to have a strong support base in the urban areas and is currently the governing party in the Western Cape province. 

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)

The EFF is a far-left party that was founded by the then ANC Youth League President Julius Malema in 2013. This party advocates for radical changes to the economic policies in the country, including land expropriation without compensation and nationalization of industries. This party is very popular among the youth and those who are dissatisfied with the traditional political establishment. 

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) 

This is predominantly a Zulu party founded in 1975 by Mangosuthu Buthelezi. This may explain why it has its stronghold in the KwaZulu-Natal province. This party aims to promote federalism as well as the preservation of the Zulu culture and its traditions. It has also contributed to the shaping of South Africa’s political landscape, especially during the transition from apartheid to democracy. 

Freedom Front Plus (FF+)

This is a conservative political party that was founded majorly to represent the interests of the Afrikaner minority. It was founded in 1994 and it advocates for self-determination, minority rights, and the preservation of the Afrikaner culture. Through the years, this party has been seen to be quite vocal against some affirmative action policies and land reform programs that were viewed as discriminatory against white South Africans. 

United Democratic Movement (UDM)

This party was founded in 1997 by Banthu Holomisa who was a former senior member in the ANC. It is a centrist party that primarily advocates for the eradication of corruption, ethical governance, and improvement of public services. It mainly targets voters across racial and ethnic lines. 

Other notable parties in the country include the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), the Socialist Revolutionary Workers Party (SRWP), and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP). These have also contributed to the shaping of South Africa’s political landscape. Even though they are much smaller in size, they contribute to the diverse and vibrant political discourse in South Africa. 

Which Are the Newer Political Parties in South Africa?

There are a few more political parties that have come up in the recent past. 


This party was established in 2020 as a centrist party. It focuses on fighting corruption, good governance, and addressing service delivery failures. It has gained plenty of support in the recent municipal elections. 

African Transformation Movement (ATM) 

This party is founded on religious organizations. They emphasize their strong position on moral issues and promote African nationalism that is focused on economic progress. 

Patriotic Alliance (PA)

This party is seen to appeal strongly to feelings of being misunderstood, employing populist language with controversial themes of xenophobia and economic nationalism. 


Are there independent candidates registered by the IEC? 

There are also a number of independent candidates in South African politics. However, their ability to run in the national and provincial elections is still new. 

How many registered political parties are there in South Africa? 

As of 2022, there were 1501 registered political parties in South Africa. 


South Africa is a democratic nation with a multi-party system. Hence, there are many political parties allowed to contest in their elections offering distinct visions for the future of the nation. Voters are encouraged to make informed decisions at the polls and engage with the policies of these parties. 

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