/ 3 June 2024

Patriotic Alliance, ActionSA and other small parties take off in 2024 election

Gettyimages 2152487618 594x594
PA leader Gayton McKenzie at the party's 'Victory Rally', Athlone Stadium, on May 10, 2024 in Cape Town. (Photo by Brenton Geach/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

The Patriotic Alliance (PA) premier candidate for KwaZulu-Natal, Ian Peter, is happy with the party’s election outcome and, like other small political parties that contested the national election for the first time, he is hopeful its seats in the National Assembly will grow over time.

Peter, speaking to the Mail & Guardian at the IEC results operations centre in Durban on Sunday, said the party, which emerged in sixth position nationally with 330 376 votes (2.06%), had expected to do even better. The PA won 7841 votes (0.22%) in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial ballot.

“I think we did pretty well, the mood on the ground when we were out campaigning, the feedback that we got from people and sometimes from communities that we least expected was, ‘we know about the Patriotic Alliance, we are following you guys, and we are going to be voting for you’.”

“It was very good, and we expected a much higher outcome, especially because of what Gayton [McKenzie, party leader] was doing on the ground with this Jocelyn Smith case. We’ve been working since 2021, even after local government elections in communities the work has not stopped,” Peter said.

“We expected a much higher turnout. We were hoping for 23 seats in parliament, and in fact the voters have spoken. We ended up with nine seats, most of them from the Western Cape and Northern Cape,” Peter said.

“KwaZulu-Natal obviously didn’t do so well, but I’m happy with the results in KZN, because for a party that’s supposedly new and small, we did exceptionally well, and this has just set the platform for us,” he said.

Among the PA’s manifesto promises is to put God back into schools, for unemployed youth over 18 years old to be conscripted, and to implement local beneficiation of resources to ensure citizens benefit from the country’s natural wealth.

“Under the Patriotic Alliance, we want one nation under God, it’s going to be no black, white, Indian coloured, because during apartheid, there was white and non-white, and now post-apartheid, there’s four different races, further division. So, we’re trying to bring everybody together, one nation under God, and everybody has equal opportunities,” Peter said.

He said the PA is looking to the 2026 local government elections to win local seats.

ActionSA provincial secretary Zanele Gcwensa said the party finished in eighth position nationally with 192 127 votes (1,2%) giving it six seats in the national assembly.

“We crisscrossed the province and we engaged with many people in communities. We will take the results as they are and congratulate those who made it,” she said, adding that the party would “make sure we stick to our plan and fix our country”.

Build One South Africa (Bosa) provincial leader and premier candidate Ntokozo Biyela said for a new party it had done well in the national vote, having gained two seats in parliament, although in KwaZulu-natal it had not done so well.

“Our plan was to build one South Africa and I think our leader Mmusi Maimane will continue to advocate for that because different parties are segregated based on provinces, and nationality, and so forth and he is there to knock some sense into the political space,” he said.

“I hope leaders in political parties have a sober mind and realise the citizens of South Africa have spoken. They want change and they must implement that change because if they don’t then things are going to get worse,” Biyela said.

The Rise Mzansi provincial and national candidate, Allison Schoeman, said the election was important for the new party, which had a lot to learn. It scooped two seats in parliament.

“We are incredibly proud of our achievement in this election, considering it is a new party and we didn’t have any ground base to work from in previous elections. Our people worked incredibly hard and that is a testimony to the hope and inspiration the people had for this election and for what is coming in the future of South Africa,” Schoeman said.

“Provincially, the results are a little disappointing, I will not be going to provincial unfortunately, but that does not mean the work stops. We have local government elections in two years’ time if things don’t change before then in eThekwini itself,” she said.

United Independent Movement (UIM) KwaZulu-Natal representative Norman Gilbert said Neil de Beer had formed the party in 2021 and contested the municipal elections with “great success” winning seats in Cape Town, Johannesburg and eThekwini.

The UIM contested only the national and regional ballots in 2024 and won 20 003 votes nationally.

“We are disappointed that we did not win a seat. Our goal going into it was to win one seat, to get Neil de Beer into parliament … we came close but as they say, close but no cigar,” he said.

“We are a little bit disappointed but we are certainly going to use this as a launchpad, learn from our mistakes, really get stuck in for the local government elections in 2026, which is where most service delivery happens anyway … and obviously we will have another go in 2029,” Gilbert said.