Level the playing field to ensure free and fair poll

South Africa's elections are not free and fair. They are characterised by at least two forms of unfairness when it comes to parties of the poor by the poor for the poor.

South Africa's elections are not free and fair. They are characterised by at least two forms of unfairness when it comes to parties of the poor by the poor for the poor.

The first one is media exclusion of the parties that speak the language of the majority of the poor, and the second one is their financial exclusion from registration and contestation of elections.

The media exclusion is expressed through the big space offered to those political parties that are sponsored by big business and very little space for the parties of the poor. This happens despite the majority of the people living beyond the poverty line.

The many political parties that we see, read about and hear are no different from each other. Their aim is to speed up the creation of a favourable environment for big business.

The parties of the poor are hardly seen in the media.

The financial exclusion of poor parties is expressed through a registration fee required by the Independent Electoral Commission to register for elections.

They are expected to pay hundred of thousands of rands for election registration and still need to have money for campaigning.

The parties for the poor cannot be sponsored by the rich because they represent the interests of the poor that are diametrically opposed to the interests of business.

Thami Hukwe, Freedom Park

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