Political parties spent a combined R2 billion on campaigning during this election cycle - with more than half of that being spent by the ANC alone.
The money was largely spent on billboards, posters and campaign events such as rallies and door-to-door visits. In total, it made for the most expensive election in South Africa since 1994.
The bulk of this election spending was funnelled to public relations firms and marketing companies that designed ad campaigns and promotional materials for most of the parties.
Khanyisile Madlala. a PR strategist at ZOE PR Communications Managers, told The Citizen that the election was a major boost for South Africa’s marketing industry.
Madlala praised the campaign strategies of several parties, saying they succeeded in communicating the parties’ messages to the public.
However, Madlala opined that, in the instances where parties failed to win as many votes as they hoped, this was not the result of poor marketing.
Instead, Madlala suggested that internal party squabbles and dishonest leadership may have played a bigger role in pushing away potential voters.
Madlala went on to suggest that the cost of contesting elections in South Africa will only increase in future elections. In several countries, high campaign spending is clearly linked to electoral success, Briefly.co.za has gathered.