Change Starts Now (CSN), the new party started by former activist, civil servant and businessman Roger Jardine, will not be contesting the May election.

In a statement, CSN said that while it had made progress in reaching out to millions of South Africans who needed a political alternative, it had been faced with a ‘prejudicial, logistical timetable to qualify for the ballot.’

It would therefore not appear on the ballot itself, but would ‘offer support to political parties who share our values and the aspirations that we believe voters are looking for’.

Its statement encouraged South Africans to vote, although it gave no indication of which parties it had in mind, either with respect to sharing its values or as alternate recipients of the votes of its sympathisers. 

CSN’s platform suggested a state-heavy approach to getting the country on the road to recovery – at least initially, with increased taxes and state banks – although it recognised the need to foster a healthy environment for the private sector.

Prior to the initiative’s launch, media reports indicated that business figures were pushing for Jardine to become the presidential face of the Multi-Party Charter.