'We've to crawl before we can start walking' - leader of smaller party
Some of the lowest performing parties have told Sowetan that they appreciate the confidence voters put in them and will continue working to grow their parties despite getting unfavourable results.
About 9.04pm on Thursday, the National People’s Front (NAPF) had 2037 votes, Free Democrats (Fred Dems) with 1691 while the National People’s Ambassadors (NPA) had the lowest votes at 964 in the national picture.
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Sowetan spoke to the NAPF and NPA about their performance.
NAPF was formed last year by Bheki Gumbi who is the former national chairperson of the National Freedom Party.
Nkululeko Zwane, a member of the communications team at NAPF said the leadership of the party was aware that the organization was new therefore it could not simply just start big.
“We accept that we are a new party. Every child first crawls before it starts walking. We appreciate the support that we got from the voters. It is an indication of the work we have done and one that lies ahead of us as a new party in the political space,” said Zwane.
“We will not throw in the towel because of the results. It was not hunger that brought us to politics. We want to serve the people,” he said.
Zwane said the party would continue with its message of serving the people, lifting education standards and a strong stance against illegal immigrants.
“There is too many of them now. We say only people with the required documents must remain in South Africa and work opportunities should priorities locals. We should only bring people from outside if they bring a certain scarce skill which we lack as a country,” Zwane said.
The other party that did badly was the NPA which was formed by Nathi Mthethwa (not the government minister) in Ladysmith, northern KwaZulu-Natal in 2016. Its main theme is that “South Africa belongs to South Africans only”.
Londiwe Hlatshwayo chairperson of the NPA in Gauteng said the party expected more than what it received in the elections.
“We are actually surprised at the results that are unfolding before us. We are not happy with the numbers. I am actually skeptical of the results…We never got a chance to be broadcast as a political party. We tried to request broadcasters for us to put our message across. As a party we worked very hard. We are happy that we were able to contest. But we are not happy with some of the problems that happened at voting stations,” said Hlatshwayo.
Efforts to get comment from Free Dems were not successful.
Opposition parties raised their concerns regarding the eligibility of the 2019 election as well as the media coverage of their campaigns.
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