Shortly after the close of business on Wednesday, 13 March, South Africans will know which political parties will appear on their ballot papers.
The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) said on Tuesday that only those registered political parties which had paid their deposits and submitted candidate lists by 17:00 on Wednesday would be allowed to contest the national and provincial elections on May 8.
Parties have to pay a deposit of R200 000 for the national ballot and R45 000 for each provincial ballot. These deposits are refunded if parties win at least one seat in each legislature they contest, failing which, the money is forfeited to the National Revenue Fund.
Once the deadline had passed, the electoral commission would have a week to advise parties of non-compliance with candidate lists. This had to be rectified by March 25.
An increasing number of political parties have contested elections. In 1999, 16 parties were on the national ballot. This increased to 29 parties in 2014.